Reproductive and feeding biology of unicorn leatherjacket, Aluterus monoceros from the Bay of Bengal, Northern Indian Ocean

Ghosh, Shubhadeep and Manas, H M and Satishkumar, Mamidi and Rohit, Prathibha and Gopalakrishnan, A (2021) Reproductive and feeding biology of unicorn leatherjacket, Aluterus monoceros from the Bay of Bengal, Northern Indian Ocean. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. pp. 1-13.

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    Abstract

    No prior comprehensive information on the reproductive biology and trophodynamics of Aluterus monoceros was globally available. The present study was performed on 1036 individuals landed along the western Bay of Bengal during 2017 to 2019. Length ranged between 25.3–64.4 cm in females (mean at 48.34 cm) and from 21.5–64.1 cm in males (mean at 47.83 cm). Growth was negatively allometric with no significant difference between sexes. Sex ratio (F:M) was 1.03 with variations based on sizes and months. Size at sexual maturity for females and males was 40.85 and 41.60 cm, respectively. The species spawned throughout the year with major and minor peaks during February to May and October and November. Absolute fecundity increased linearly with length and weight and ranged from 33,640 eggs to 12,39,202 eggs. Stomachs were empty or with trace amounts of food in 59.17%, part-full in 34.07% and full in 6.76% of the fishes. Stomach vacuity and fullness and predator–prey weight ratios varied with an increase in body size, implying higher feeding intensity in large-sized fishes. Feeding activity was more intense during June–August and less during the peak spawning months. The species is omnivorous and a bottom feeder. Teleosts contributed the most to the prey items (43.23% by Index of Preponderance) implying preference for carnivory. Ontogenetic shifts and seasonal variations in prey items were observed. The present study provides paramount information that can significantly contribute to the management and conservation of monacanthid stocks in northern Indian Ocean.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Diet; feeding intensity; length composition; Monacanthidae; spawning periodicity; unicorn leatherjacket
    Subjects: Fish and Fisheries > Fish breeding
    Fish and Fisheries > Fish biology
    Pelagic Fisheries
    Pelagic Fisheries > Pelagic Fishes
    Divisions: CMFRI-Visakhapatnam
    Depositing User: Arun Surendran
    Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2021 07:01
    Last Modified: 01 Dec 2021 07:01
    URI: http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/id/eprint/15537

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