Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 499–538 | Cite as

Spawning period of Mediterranean marine fishes

  • Athanassios C. TsiklirasEmail author
  • Efthimia Antonopoulou
  • Konstantinos I. Stergiou


We collected all available information (i.e. international and local journals, conference proceedings, theses, technical reports) on the spawning season (n = 511 stocks, 168 species), gonadosomatic index (n = 237 stocks, 81 species) and sex ratio (n = 97 stocks, 68 species) of Mediterranean marine fish. The 511 stocks represented 20 orders (most were Perciformes, 283 stocks) and 65 families (most were Sparidae: 17 species and 63 stocks). Overall, 346 stocks (128 species) spawned between April and August, 139 stocks (60 species) between September and March, while the remaining 26 stocks (13 species) were all-year-round spawners. In addition, 174 stocks (34.1%) were characterised by an extended (>4 months) spawning season, but, for most stocks (332 stocks, 64.4%), spawning duration ranged from 2 to 4 months inclusive. Regardless of the onset and the duration of spawning, the spawning period of 284 and 287 stocks included June and July, respectively, indicating that most Mediterranean species are summer spawners. Female gonadosomatic index ranged between 0.06 and 37 (mean ± SE = 8.55 ± 0.647, n = 95) and was significantly higher (t-test: t = 5.58, P < 0.001) than the corresponding male one, which ranged between 0.06 and 30 (mean ± SE = 4.21 ± 0.431, n = 95). Congeneric species that occupied the same area and share the same requirements exhibited successive and non-overlapping spawning (e.g. Sparidae in the Adriatic Sea, Mugilidae in the Ionian Sea and Tunisian waters). The knowledge of the spawning period coupled with information on spawning and nursery grounds and detailed knowledge of mating systems, social interactions, maturity and fecundity may be very useful for fisheries management.


Spawning duration Gonadosomatic index Sex ratio Mediterranean fishes 



The authors wish to thank O. Ettahiri, A. Bouaziz and N. Chakroun-Marzouk for their help in collecting part of the Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian literature, respectively. The authors wish also to thank two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and for providing an orientation framework.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Athanassios C. Tsikliras
    • 1
    Email author
  • Efthimia Antonopoulou
    • 2
  • Konstantinos I. Stergiou
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Ichthyology and Aquatic EnvironmentUniversity of ThessalyNea Ionia, VólosGreece
  2. 2.Department of Zoology, School of BiologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessaloníkiGreece

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