Observations on the reproductive biology of three catsharks (Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae: Asymbolus and Figaro) from the continental shelf of southern Queensland, Australia

Peter Kyne, Anthony Courtney, Michael Bennett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Three species of Australian endemic catsharks (grey spotted catshark Asymbolus analis, orange spotted catshark A. rubiginosus and Australian sawtail shark Figaro boardmani) were collected from the trawl grounds of a highly seasonal commercial fishery off southern Queensland, Australia. Specimens were collected on the mid to outer continental shelf at depths between 78 and 168 m. This study provides the first information on the reproductive biology of these three poorly-known species. Mature female and male A. analis were observed from 455 mm total length (TL), mature female A. rubiginosus from 410 mm TL, mature male A. rubiginosus from 405 mm TL, mature female F. boardmani from 402 mm TL and mature male F. boardmani from 398 mm TL (although a lack of immature specimens precluded more accurate assessments of size at maturity). The reproductive mode of all species was confirmed as single oviparous (carrying only one egg case in each uterus at a time). Ovarian fecundity (the number of vitellogenic follicles) ranged from 7-20 in A. analis, 5-23 in A. rubiginosus and 9-13 in F. boardmani. Several indicators suggest that Asymbolus catsharks off southern Queensland are reproductively active year-round. The proportion of female A. rubiginosus carrying egg cases was highest in spring (60%), intermediate in autumn (50%) and lowest in winter (44%).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1157-1164
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
    Volume91
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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