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Reproduction and mating behavior of the atlantic flyingfish, Cheilopogon melanurus (Exocoetidae), off North Carolina

Bulletin of Marine Science

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Abstract

The reproductive biology of Cheilopogon melanurus (Valenciennes, 1847) was examined off North Carolina during the summers of 1991-1992 and 1999-2003. Specimens were collected using a small mesh neuston net and dip nets. A spawning event, the first observation of mating behavior for this species, was recorded off Cape Fear, North Carolina, on 19 August 2003. It was considered to be a spawning event due to: 1) unusual coloration of both sexes, 2) unusual swimming behavior of both sexes, and 3) ready release of gametes by both sexes upon capture. The spawning event occurred in the presence of small clumps of floating Sargassum, but the fish did not appear to use the algae. Over all collections, female gonadosomatic indices were highest in June and July, but mature females were collected each month (June, July, and August). The overall female to male sex ratio did not vary significantly from 1:1. Number of ova increased with increasing fish size, but the relationship was not strong. Our data indicate a spawning season of at least June through August off North Carolina due to high female gonadosomatic indices, large egg diameters, presence of egg filaments, presence of spent females in July and August, and presence of small juveniles (??? 25 mm) in July and August. This is the first report of single pair spawning for this family; other species reportedly spawn in large aggregations. ?? 2005 Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science of the University of Miami.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Reproduction and mating behavior of the atlantic flyingfish, Cheilopogon melanurus (Exocoetidae), off North Carolina
Series title:
Bulletin of Marine Science
Volume
77
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2005
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Bulletin of Marine Science
First page:
363
Last page:
375
Number of Pages:
13