Early life history strategies of notothenioids at South Georgia

first_imgAntarctic notothenioid early life history strategies are examined in general and then for common species at South Georgia. Channichthyids, bathydraconids, artedidraconids and some nototheniids have large eggs 3·0–4·9 mm whereas other nototheniids and arpagiferids have smaller eggs 1·6–2·7 mm. At South Georgia the larvae of species with large eggs hatched between August (late winter) and late November (late spring) at 11–16 mm standard length (Ls). Larvae of species with small eggs hatched mainly during October and December at 4.5–9 mm Ls. Most of the larvae of all species attain urostyle flexion between October and January, and develop to the end of the larval stage between November and May. The duration of the larval stage varies from 2 months in species with smaller larvae to 6 months for some of the species with larger larvae. Two nototheniid species develop to the early juvenile stage before a channichthyid and a bathydraconid that hatch around 2 months earlier. During their first winter, the early-juveniles of most species with large eggs are pelagic, whereas those of species with small eggs may be pelagic or demersal. Four groups of strategies are proposed based on egg size and the winter ecotype of the early-juvenile stage.last_img

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