Journal of Fish Biology
batoids, biannual reproduction, Greater Caribbean, Urotrygonidae, von Bertalanffy
Urobatis jamaicensis is a coastal batoid species affected by habitat loss and small-scale exploitation from fisheries and the aquarium trade, yet the life-history information available is limited. This is the first study to assess the vertebral centra from 195 stingrays to estimate age and growth patterns and compare them with the biannual reproductive pattern previously reported for this species. Age-at-size data were compared using five different growth models and found a two-parameter von Bertalanffy growth function (VBGF), the Gompertz model, and a modified VBGF fit best for males, females and sexes combined, respectively. Maturity was achieved before one year. However, growth did not cease with the onset of maturity, but instead slowed down. Results from marginal increment analysis (MIA) and edge analysis indicated a non-annual somatic growth pattern with influences from the biannual reproduction cycle where peaks in resource allocation may be focused on ovulation rather than growth during March when larger brood sizes are present, while resources may be allocated more towards growth during August and September when brood sizes are generally smaller. These results may be used as a proxy for species with similar reproductive patterns, or for those that lack annual or seasonal growth patterns.
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Jessica Schieber, Daniel P. Fahy, John K. Carlson, and David W. Kerstetter. 2023. Age, Growth and Maturity of the Yellow Stingray (Urobatis jamaicensis), a Biannually Reproductive Tropical Batoid. .Journal of Fish Biology , (6) : 1281 -1295. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/1332.