Profiling plasma steroid hormones: a non-lethal approach for the study of skate reproductive biology and its potential use in conservation management
Information regarding sexual maturity and reproductive cycles in skates has largely been based on gross morphological changes within the reproductive tract. While this information has proved valuable in obtaining life history information, it also necessitates sacrificing the skates to obtain this data. In contrast, few studies have used circulating steroid hormones to establish when these batoids become reproductively capable or for the determination of reproductive cyclicity. This study summarizes our current knowledge of hormonal analyses in determining skate reproductive status and offers information that suggests analysis of circulating steroid hormone concentrations provide a means to determine size at sexual maturity and asses reproductive cycles without the need to sacrifice the skate.
KeywordsSkate Sexual maturity Reproduction Testosterone Estradiol Non-lethal technique
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