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Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 100, Issue 12, pp 1603–1608 | Cite as

First observation on the mating behaviour of the endangered scalloped hammerhead shark Sphyrna lewini in the Tropical Eastern Pacific

  • P. Salinas-de-León
  • E. M. Hoyos-Padilla
  • F. Pochet
Article

Abstract

Here we provide a detailed analysis of the first complete sequence of a mating event for the endangered scalloped hammerhead shark, Sphyrna lewini. This analysis is based on a mating event recorded at Isla del Coco National Park, Costa Rica, where large schools of hammerhead sharks are frequently encountered. S lewini mating sequence can be characterized by: (1) an open water encounter, (2) pre-copulatory biting, (3) grabbing of pectoral fin/copulation, (4) free fall, (5) separation and (6) following. Based on this single observation we found that only one male appears to be involved in a copulation cycle and that mating took place in a high current zone potentially to favor respiration when both individuals are unable to swim. This observation highlights the difficulty in observing mating behavior for this species since mating is likely to occur in open waters.

Keywords

Hammerhead shark Reproduction ETP Conservation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the Undersea Hunter Group for allowing us to use this underwater video footage for our analyses and dive guide Wilson Cadavid for all the valuable information. We also thank to the crew of M/V Argo their helpful comments on this manuscript. We are grateful to the Helsmley Charitable Trust for their financial support. We are grateful to Ana Victoria Moya and Florencia Cerutti for their valuable comments to previous versions of this manuscript. This is contribution number 2176 from the Charles Darwin Foundation.

Supplementary material

10641_2017_668_MOESM1_ESM.avi (213.4 mb)
ESM 1 (213 mb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Salinas-de-León
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • E. M. Hoyos-Padilla
    • 4
    • 5
  • F. Pochet
    • 6
  1. 1.Charles Darwin Research StationGalapagos IslandsEcuador
  2. 2.Galapagos Marine Research and Exploration (GMaRE), CDF-ESPOL Research ProgramCharles Darwin Research StationSanta CruzEcuador
  3. 3.Pristine SeasNational Geographic SocietyWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Pelagios KakunjáLa PazMexico
  5. 5.Fins AttachedMarine Research and ConservationColorado SpringsUSA
  6. 6.Undersea Hunter GroupSan JoseCosta Rica

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