Journal of Ichthyology

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 111–126 | Cite as

Production, maturity, reproductive cycle and fecundity of small-spotted catshark, Scyliorhinus canicula (Chondrichthyes: Scyliorhinidae) from the northern coast of Tunisia (Central Mediterranean)

  • C. Capapé
  • N. Mnasri-Sioudi
  • O. El Kamel-Moutalibi
  • M. Boumaïza
  • M. M. Ben Amor
  • C. Reynaud


Small-spotted catshark Scyliorhinus canicula (Linnaeus, 1758) is confronted since 2000 to a drastic decline of captures in Tunisian northern areas where it formerly was quantitatively and qualitatively very abundant. A study conducted in the area showed that males and females sexually matured between 400–478 mm and 364–471 mm total length (TL), respectively. The largest male and female were 521 mm and 531 mm TL, respectively and weighed 449 and 445.5 g, respectively. There was a not significant relationship total mass vs. TL between males and females. Conversely, the relationship of liver mass vs. TL significantly differed between sexes. Both HSI and GSI values did not present significant differences between males and females. There was a not significant relationship total mass vs. TL between males and females. Both male and female HSI reached high values in adults, significantly higher than those of sub-adults. Both male and female GSI values increased with TL of specimens; additionally, they showed significant differences between juveniles and sub-adults and also between sub-adults and adults. The OSI values were significantly different between juvenile and sub-adult females, and also between sub-adult and adult females. Monthly mean values of adult male and female HSI did not significantly vary throughout the year. Significant monthly changes were recorded in mean values of adult male however no significant changes were observed in monthly mean of GSI and OSI for adult females. Vitellogenic activity and production of egg cases permanently occurred throughout the year. The diameter of largest yolky oocytes ranged from 20.1 to 23.0 (mean = 21.43 ± 1.07) and weighed from 0.64 to 0.90 g (mean = 0.78 ± 0.09). Some measurements were taken on egg cases: length with horns ranged 42.5-55.7 mm with mean = 48.9 ± 2.9, width ranged 13.6–19.7 mm with mean = 16.50 ± 0.9, while the total mass of complete egg case ranged between 1.8 and 4.6 g, with mean = 2.4 ± 0.4. An annual fecundity estimation based on production of egg cases and oocytes during one year counted in adult females, enabled us to consider it between 40 and 240.


reproduction relationships total length vs. total mass and liver mass hepato gonosomatic and oviduco somatic indexes egg cases 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aldebert, Y., Demersal resources of the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean). Impact of exploitation of fish diversity, Vie Milieu, 1997, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 275–284.Google Scholar
  2. Anonymous, Annuaire des statistiques des produits de la pêche en Tunisie, Direction Générale à la Pêche et à l’Aquaculture (DGPA), Ministère de l’Agriculture, 2010.Google Scholar
  3. Arka Erdogan, Z., Torku Koç, H., Türker Çakir, D., et al., Sexual dimorphism in the small-spotted catshark Scyliorhinus canicula (L., 1758), from the Edremit Bay (Turkey), Ann. Ser. Hist. Nat., 2004, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 165–170.Google Scholar
  4. Baldridge, H.D., Jr., Sinking factors and average densities of Florida sharks as function of liver buoyancy, Copeia, 1970, no. 4, pp. 744–754.Google Scholar
  5. Baldridge, H.D., Jr., Accumulation and function of liver oil in Florida sharks, Copeia, 1972, no. 2, pp. 306–325.Google Scholar
  6. Ben Othman, S., Observations hydrologiques, dragages et chalutages dans le sud-est tunisien, Bull. Inst. Océanogr. Pêche, Salammbô, 1971, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 103–120.Google Scholar
  7. Blache, J., Cadenat, J., and Stauch, A., Clé de détermination des poissons de mer signalés dans l’Atlantique oriental (entre le 20ième parallèle N et le 15ième parallèe S), Faune Trop., 1970, ORSTOM, vol. 18, pp. 1–479.Google Scholar
  8. Bourgois, F. and Farina L., Les essais de chalutage au large des côtes tunisiennes, Rapport EPTA, 1910, FAO, 1961.Google Scholar
  9. Braccini, J.M. and Chiaramonte, G.E., Reproductive biology of Psammobatis extenta, J. Fish. Biol., 2002, vol. 61, pp. 272–288. doi: 10.1111/j.1085-8649.2002.tb01752.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brada-, M.N., Diversité du peuplement icthyque et contribution à la connaissance des sparidae du golfe de Gabès, Thesis, Univ. Sfax, Tunisia, 2000.Google Scholar
  11. Bradaï, M.N., Quignard, J.P., Bouain, A., et al., Ichtyofaune autochtone et exotique des côtes tunisiennes: Recensement et biogéographie, Cybium, 2004, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 315–328.Google Scholar
  12. Capapé, C., Contribution à la biologie des Scyliorhinidæ des côtes tunisiennes. I. Scyliorhinus canicula (Linné, 1758): répartition géographique et bathymétrique, sexualité, reproduction, fécondité, Bull. Off. Natl. Pêch. Tunisie, 1977, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 83–101.Google Scholar
  13. Capapé, C., Contribution à la biologie des Scyliorhinidæ des côtes tunisiennes. II. Scyliorhinus canicula Linné, 1758: régime alimentaire, Ann. Inst. Michel Pacha, 1974, vol. 7, pp. 13–29.Google Scholar
  14. Capapé, C., Etude morphologique de la ceinture pelvienne et des ptérygopodes de Scyliorhinus canicula (Linné, 1758) et de Scyliorhinus stellaris (Linné, 1758) (Pisces, Pleurotremata, Scyliorhinidæ) des côtes tunisienne, Bull. Off. Natl. Pêch. Tunisie, 1981, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 164–173.Google Scholar
  15. Capapé, C. and Zahnd, J.P., Cas d’hermaphrodisme chez Scyliorhinus canicula (Linné, 1758), Bull. Inst. Natl. Sci. Tech. Océanogr. Pêche, Salammb-, 1974, vol. 3, nos. 1–4, pp. 131–137.Google Scholar
  16. Capapé, C., Quignard, J.-P., and Mellinger, J., Reproduction and development of two angel sharks, Squatina squatina and S. oculata (Pisces: Squatinidæ), off Tunisian coasts: semi-delayed vitellogenesis, lack of egg-capsules and lecithotrophy, J. Fish Biol., 1990, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 347–356. doi: 10.1111/j.1085-8649.1990.tb05865.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Capapé, C., Tomasini, J.A., and Bouchereau, J.L., Observations sur la biologie de reproduction de la petite roussette, Scyliorhinus canicula (Linnæus, 1758) (Pisces, Scyliorhinidæ) du golfe du Lion (France méridionale), Ichtyophysiol. Acta, 1991, vol. 13, pp. 87–109.Google Scholar
  18. Capapé, C., Tomasini, J.A., and Quignard, J.-P., Les Elasmobranches Pleurotrêmes de la côte du Languedoc (France méridionale, Méditerranée septentrionale). Observations biologiques et démographiques, Vie Milieu, 2000, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 123–133.Google Scholar
  19. Capapé, C., Guélorget, O., Reynaud, C., et al., Effects of reproductive factors on interrelationships among three deep water sharks from northern Tunisia (Central Mediterranean), Ann. Ser. Hist. Nat., 2003, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 109–120.Google Scholar
  20. Capapé, C., Guélorget, O., Siau, Y., et al., Reproductive biology of the Thornback Ray Raja clavata L., 1758, (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae) from the coast of Languedoc (Southern France, Northern Mediterranean), Vie Milieu, 2007, vol. 57, nos. 1–2, pp. 83–90.Google Scholar
  21. Capapé, C., Vergne, Y., Reynaud, C., et al., Fecundity and occurrence of the smallspotted catshark Scyliorhinus canicula (Chondrichthyes: Scyliorhinidae) off the Languedocian coast (southern France, north-western Mediterranean), Vie Milieu, 2008a, vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 47–55.Google Scholar
  22. Capapé, C., Reynaud, C., Vergne, Y., and Quignard, J.-P., Biological observations on the smallspotted catshark Scyliorhinus canicula (Chondrichthyes: Scyliorhindae) off the Languedocian voast (southern France, northern Mediterranean), Pan-Amer. J. Aquat. Sci., 2008b, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 282–289.Google Scholar
  23. Castany, G., Le Haut-Bassin Siculo-Tunisien. étude de morphologie et de géologie sous-marines, Bull. Stn. Océanogr. Salammbæ, vol. 52, no. 1, pp. 3–12.Google Scholar
  24. Collenot, G., Etude biométrique de la croissance relative des ptérygopodes chez la roussette Scyliorhinus canicula L., Cah. Biol. Mar., 1969, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 309–329.Google Scholar
  25. Colonello, J.H., Lucifora, L.O., and Massa, A.M., Reproduction of the angular angel shark (Squatina guggenheim): geographic differences, reproductive cycle, and sexual dimorphism, ICES J. Mar. Sci., 2007, vol. 64, no. 1, pp. 131–140. doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fs1012Google Scholar
  26. Cortès, E., Incorporation uncertainty into demographic modeling: application to shark populations and their conservation, Conserv. Biol., 2002, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 1048–1062. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1739.2002.00423.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Coste, M., On the incubation of the eggs of the small spotted dogfish (Scyllium catulus), Ann. Mag. Nat. Histo, 1867, vol. 19, p. 227.Google Scholar
  28. Craik, J.C.A., An annual cycle of vitellogenesis in the elasmobranch Scyliorhinus canicula, J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. UK, 1978, vol. 58, no. 3, pp. 719–726. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. D’Onghia, G., Matarrese, A., Tursi, A., and Sion, L., Observations on the depth distribution pattern of the smallspotted catshark in the North Aegean Sea, J. Fish Biol., 1995, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 421–426. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.1997.tb01911.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Eales, N.B., The food of the dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula L., J. Mar Biol. Assoc. UK, 1949, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 791–793. doi: 10.1017/S0025315400023584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ellis, J.R. and Schackley, S.E., The reproductive biology of Scyliorhinus canicula in the Bristol Channel, J. Fish Biol., 1997, vol. 51, no. 2, pp. 361–372. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.1997.tb01671.xGoogle Scholar
  32. Fauré-Frémiet, E., Notes sur la biologie sexuelle de Scyliorhinus canicula, Bull. Biol. Fr. Belgique, 1942, vol. 76, no. 3, pp. 244–249.Google Scholar
  33. Ford, E.A., Contribution to our knowledge of the life-histories of the dogfishes landed at Plymouth, J. Mar Biol. Assoc. UK, 1921, vol. 12, no. 31, pp. 269–374. doi: Google Scholar
  34. Foulley, M.M. and Mellinger, J., Etude chronologique, structurale et biométrique de l’oeuf et de son développement chez la petite roussette (Scyliorhinus canicula) élevée en eau de mer artificielle, Reprod. Nutr. Dével., 1980, vol. 20, no. 6, pp. 1835–1848.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. García-Garrido, L., Muñoz-Chapuli, R., and De Andres, A.V., Serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in Scyliorhinus canicula (L.) during sexual maturation, J. Fish Biol., 1990, vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 499–509. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.1990.03583.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Harris, J.E., A note on the breeding season sex-ratio and embryonic development of the dogfish Scylliorhinus canicula (L.), J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. UK, 1952, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 269–374. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Henderson, A.C. and Dunne, J.J., Food of the lesser-spotted dogfish Scyliorhinus canicula (L.) in Galway Bay, Irish Natural J., 1999, vol. 26, nos. 5–6, pp. 191–194.Google Scholar
  38. Henderson, A.C., Mcilwain, J.L., Al-Oufi H.S., and Ambu-Ali, A., Reproductive biology of the milk shark Rhizoprionodon acutus and the Bigeye Houndshark Iago omanenis in the coastal waters of Oman, J. Fish Biol., vol. 68, no. 6, pp. 1662–1678. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2006. 01011.xGoogle Scholar
  39. Holden, M.J., The fecundity of Raja clavata in British waters, J. Cons. Int. Explor. Mer., 1975, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 110–118. doi: 10.1093/icesjms/36.2.106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Holden, M.J., Rout, D.W., and Humphreys, C.N., The rate of egg laying by three species of ray, J. Cons. Int. Explor. Mer., 1971, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 335–339. doi: 10.1093/icesjms/33.3.335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kollmann, M., Van Gaver, F., and Timon-David, J., Le développement du foie et son rendement en huile chez Scyllium canicula L. dans leurs rapports avec l’état sexuel de l’animal, C. R. Soc. Biol., 1929, vol. 100, pp. 355–358.Google Scholar
  42. Kousteni, V., Kontopoulou, M., and Megalofonou, P., Sexual maturity and fecundity of Scyliorhinus canicula (Linnaeus, 1758) in the Aegean Sea, Mar. Biol. Res., 2010, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 390–398. doi: 10.1080/17451000903233771CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Leloup, J. and Olivereau, M., Données biométriques comparatives sur la Roussette (Scyllium canicula L.) de la Manche et de la Méditerranée, Vie Milieu, 1951, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 182–206.Google Scholar
  44. Lloris, D. and Rucabado, R., Guide FAO d’Identification des Espèces Pour les Besoins de la Pêche. Guide d’Identification des Ressources Marines Vivantes Pour le Maroc, Rome: FAO, 1998.Google Scholar
  45. Lombardi-Carlson, L.A., Cortés, E., Parsons, G.R., and Manire, C.A., Latitudinal variation in life-history traits of bonnethead sharks, Sphyrna tiburo (Carchariniformes: Sphyrnidae), from the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, Mar. Fresh. Res., 2003, vol. 54, no. 7, pp. 875–883. doi: 10.1071/MF03023CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lucifora, L.O., Menni, R.C., and Escalante, A.H., Reproduction, abundance and feeding habits of the broadnose sevengill shark Notorhynchus cepedianus in North Patagonia, Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 2005, vol. 289, pp. 237–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lyle, J.M., Food and feeding habits of the Lesser spotted dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula (L.), in Isle of Man waters, J. Fish Biol., 1983, vol. 23, no. 6, pp. 725–737. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.1983.tb02949.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Magrabaña, E., Lucifora, L.O., and Massa, A.M., The reproductive ecology and abundance of Sympterygia bonapartii endemic to the south-west Atlantic, J. Fish Biol., 2002, vol. 60, no. 4, pp. 951–967. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2002.tb02420.xGoogle Scholar
  49. Maurin, C., Écologie ichthyologique des fonds chalutables atlantiques (de la Baie ibéro-marocaine à la Mauritanie) et de la Méditerranée occidentale, Rev. Trav. Inst. Pêches Marit., 1968, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 1–147.Google Scholar
  50. McAuley, R.B., Simpfendorfer, C.A., Hyndes, G.A., and Lenanton, R.C.J., Distribution and reproductive biology of the sandbar shark, Carcharhinus plumbeus (Nardo), in Western Australian Waters, Mar. Fresh. Res., 2007, vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 116–126. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Mellinger, J., Egg-case diversity among dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula (L.): a study of egg-laying rate and nidamental gland secretory activity, J. Fish Biol., 1983, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 83–90. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.1983.tb04728.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Mellinger, J., Wrisez, J., and Alluchon-Gérard, M.J., Caractères biométriques distinctifs de l’embryon et de ses annexes chez la roussette (Scyliorhinus canicula) de la Manche comparée à celle de la Méditerranée et détermination précise du stade d’éclosion, Cah. Biol. Mar., 1984, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 305–317.Google Scholar
  53. Mellinger, J., Reproduction et développement des Chondrichthyens, Océanis, 1989, vol. 15, pp. 283–303.Google Scholar
  54. Mnasri, N., Les élasmobranches de la Tunisie septentrionale: biodiversité et méthode d’approche de la production débarquée, PhD Dissertation, Univ. of Carthage, Tunisia, 2008.Google Scholar
  55. Mnasri, N., El Kamel, O., Boumaïza, M., et al., Food and feeding habits of the small-spotted catshark, Scyliorhinus canicula (Chondrichthyes: Scyliorhinidae) from the northern coast of Tunisia (central Mediterranean), Cah. Biol. Mar., 2012, vol. 53, no. 1, pp. 139–150.Google Scholar
  56. Muñoz-Chápuli, R., Éthologie de la reproduction chez quelques requins de l’Atlantique nord-est, Cybium, 1984, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 1–14.Google Scholar
  57. Oddone, M.C. and Velasco, G., Relationship between liver weight, body size and reproductive activity in Atlantoraja cyclophora (Elasmobranchii/Rajidae/Arhynchobatinae) in oceanic waters off Riogrande do Sul, Brazil, Neotrop. Biol. Conserv., 2006, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 12–16.Google Scholar
  58. Oddone, M.C., Mesa, A., and De Amorim, A.F., The egg capsule of Rioraja agassizi (Müller and Henle) (Elasmobranchii, Rajidae), endemic to the SW Atlantic, Pan-Amer. J. Aquat. Sci., 2006, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 41–43.Google Scholar
  59. Oddone, M.C., Amorim, A.F., Mancini, P.L., et al., The reproductive biology and the cycle of Rioraja agassizi (Müller and Henle, 1841) (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae) in southeastern Brazil, SW Atlantic Ocean, Sci. Mar., 2007, vol. 71, no. 3, pp. 593–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Oddone, M.C., and Vooren, C.M., Comprarative morphology and identification of egg capsules of skate species of the genera Atlantoraja Menni, 1972, Rioraja Whitley, 1939 and Sympterygia Müller and Henle, 1837, Arq. Cien. Mar. Fortaleza, 2008, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 5–13.Google Scholar
  61. Oddone, M.C., Norbis, W., Mancini, P.L., and Amorim, A.F., Sexual development and reproductive cycle of Atlantoraja cyclophora (Regan 1903) (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae: Arhynchobatidae) in southeastern Brazil, Acta Adriat., 2008, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 73–87.Google Scholar
  62. Olivereau, M. and Leloup, M., Variations du rapport hépato-somatique chez la roussette (Scyllium canicula L.) au cours du développement et de la reproduction, Vie Milieu, 1950, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 377–420.Google Scholar
  63. Quéro, J.C., Porché, P., and Vayne, J.J., Guide des poissons de l’Atlantique européen. Les Guides du naturaliste, Lonay, Switzerland; Paris: Delachaux & Niestlé, 2003.Google Scholar
  64. Ragonese, S. and Jereb, P., Egg-case of the dogfish Scyliorhinus canicula (L., 1758) from the Sicilian Channel (Mediterranean Sea), Rapp. Comm. Int. Mer Médit., 1990, vol. 32, no. 1, p. 264.Google Scholar
  65. Rodrìguez-Cabello, C., Velasco, F., and Olaso, I., Reproductive biology of Lesser spotted dogfish Scyliorhinus canicula (L., 1758) in the Cantabrian Sea, Sci. Mar., 1998, vol. 62, no. 3, pp. 187–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Rodrìguez-Cabello, C., Sanchez, F., and Olaso, I., Distribution patterns and sexual segregations of Scyliorhinus canicula (L., 1758) in the Cantabrian Sea, J. Fish Biol., 2007, vol. 70, no. 5, pp. 1568–1586. doi: 10.1111/j.1085-8649.2007.01443.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Rossouw, G.J., Function of the liver and hepatic lipids of the lesser sand shark, Rhinobatos annulatus (Müller & Henle), Comp. Biochem. Physiol., Part B, Comp. Biochem., 1987, vol. 86, no. 4, pp. 785–790. doi: 10.1016/0305.0491(87)90225-2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Sadovy, Y., The threat of fishing to highly fecund fshes, J. Fish Biol., 2001, vol. 59, Issue Suppl. sA, pp. 90–108. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2001.tb01381.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Schwartz, D., Méthodes Statistiques à l’Usage des Médecins et des Biologistes, Paris: Flammarion Editor, 1983.Google Scholar
  70. Taleb Bendiab, A.A., Mouffok, S., and Boutiba, Z., Reproductive biology and growth of lesser spotted dogfish Scyliorhinus canicula (Linnaeus, 1758) in western Algerian coasts (Chondrichthyes, Scyliorhinidae), Biodiver. J., 2012, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 41–48.Google Scholar
  71. Zupanovic, S., Contribution à la connaissance des poissons de l’Adriatique, Acta Adriat., 1961, vol. 9, pp. 1–84.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Capapé
    • 1
  • N. Mnasri-Sioudi
    • 2
  • O. El Kamel-Moutalibi
    • 2
  • M. Boumaïza
    • 2
  • M. M. Ben Amor
    • 3
  • C. Reynaud
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Ichtyologie, case 104Université Montpellier II, Sciences et Techniques du LanguedocMontpellier cedex 5France
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Bio-Surveillance de l’EnvironnementUnité d’Hydrobiologie Littorale et Limnique Université de Carthage, Faculté des SciencesZarzouna, BizerteTunisia
  3. 3.Institut National des Sciences et Technologies de la MerLa GouletteTunisia
  4. 4.Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Recherche sur la DidactiqueUniversité Montpellier II, Sciences et Techniques du LanguedocMontpellier cedex 5France

Personalised recommendations