First observation on the mating behaviour of the endangered scalloped hammerhead shark Sphyrna lewini in the Tropical Eastern Pacific
- 542 Downloads
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.
KeywordsHammerhead shark Reproduction ETP Conservation
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.
- Agassiz L (1871) On the method of copulation among selachians. Proc Boston Soc Nat Hist 14:339–341Google Scholar
- Baum J, Clarke S, Domingo A, Ducrocq M, Lamónaca AF, Gaibor N, Graham R, Jorgensen S, Kotas JE, Medina E, Martinez-Ortiz J, Monzini Taccone di Sitizano J, Morales MR, Navarro SS, Pérez JC, Ruiz C, Smith W, Valenti SV, Vooren CM (2007) Sphyrna lewini (Eastern Central and Southeast Pacific subpopulation). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T165291A6000761. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2007.RLTS.T165291A6000761.en. Accessed 07 Nov 2016
- Bessesen BL (2015) Occurrence and distribution patterns of several marine vertebrates in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Rev Biol Trop 63:261–272Google Scholar
- Eberhard WG (1985) Sexual selection and animal genitalia, vol 244. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Friedlander AM, Zgliczynski BJ, Ballesteros E et al (2012) The shallow-water fish assemblage of Isla del coco National Park, Costa Rica: structure and patterns in an isolated, predator-dominated ecosystem. Rev Biol Trop 60:321–338Google Scholar
- Gilbert PW (1972) The clasper-siphon sac mechanism in Squalus acanthias and Mustelus Canis. Comp Biochem Physiol A Physiol 42:97–119Google Scholar
- Robles YA, Montes LA, Vega AJ (2015) Caracterización de la captura de tiburones por la pesca artesanal en los manglares de David, Golfo de Chiriqui, Pacifico de Panamá. Tecnociencia 17:11–30Google Scholar
- Soler GA, Bessudo S, Guzmán A (2013) Long term monitoring of pelagic fishes at Malpleo Island, Colombia. Rev Latinoam Conserv 3:28–37Google Scholar
- Zanella I, López-Garro A (2015) Abundancia, reproducción y tallas del tiburón martillo Sphyrna lewini (Carcharhiniformes: Sphyrnidae) en la pesca artesanal de Golfo Dulce, Pacífico de Costa Rica. Rev Biol Trop 63:307–317Google Scholar