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Validated age and growth of the leopard shark, Triakis semifasciata, with comments on reproduction



Validated age and growth of the leopard shark, Triakis semifasciata, with comments on reproduction



Environmental Biology of Fishes 35(2): 187-203



The age, growth, and sexual maturation of the leopard shark, Triakis semifasciata, from central California (USA) were studied. Growth band counts in vertebral centra of 162 leopard sharks produced von Bertalanffy growth curves with L- infin , K. and t-o parameters of 1536mm. 0.082, and -2.31, respectively, for both sexes combined. The L- infin value for females (1602 mm TL) was slightly but insignificantly higher than for males (1499 mm TL), but the K and t-o values were almost identical. Seasonal changes in size modes of young-of-the-year leopard sharks, centrum edge characteristics, and growth and tetracycline mark-recapture from the field were used to validate annual deposition of vertebral centrum band pairs. Sexual maturity was evaluated by the gonads and presence of sperm and eggs; males mature at 7 yr and at about 63% of asymptotic length, and female mature at 10 yr, and at about 72% of asymptotic length. This slow growth, late maturity, and relatively low fecundity may increase their susceptibility to over-exploitation.

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Accession: 009712633

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DOI: 10.1007/bf00002193


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