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AB 13:275-284 (2011)  -  DOI:

Mediterranean moray eel Muraena helena (Pisces: Muraenidae): biological indices for life history

Sanja Matić-Skoko1,*, Pero Tutman1, Mirela Petrić2, Daria Skaramuca3, Domagoj Đikić4, Duje Lisičić4, Boško Skaramuca3

1Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, PO Box 500, Šetalište Ivana Meštrovića 63, 21000 Split, Croatia
2University of Split, Center of Marine Studies, Livanjska 5/III, 21000 Split, Croatia
3Faculty of Aquaculture, University of Dubrovnik, Ćire Carića 4, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia
4Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Department for Animal Physiology, University of Zagreb, Rooseveltov trg 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

ABSTRACT: This paper presents the first published data on age, growth and reproduction of the moray eel Muraena helena in the Mediterranean Sea. A total of 193 individuals of M. helena were sampled by longlines at depths from 5 to 80 m in the southern Adriatic Sea. The length and weight of individuals ranged from 27.5 to 121.0 cm and from 116.1 to 3680.0 g, respectively. Age readings from annual zones of M. helena otoliths revealed the presence of age groups 2 to 12. The von Bertalanffy growth function (VBGF) for the sampled population had the following parameters: L = 162.70 cm, k = 0.089 yr–1 and t0 = −0.660 yr. Females dominated the total male:female ratio (0.35:1.00) and, together with immatures, were more frequent in shallow coastal waters. The greatest increase in gonadosomatic index occurred in summer, while condition factor was the ­lowest in winter. The ovaries of moray eels mostly contained oocytes in a pre-vitellogenic or vitellogenic stage and males with testes at maturation stage were observed at the beginning of July. The absence of males and ripe or spent females in the inshore coastal waters suggests that moray eels leave this region in summer to spawn, most likely in the south Adriatic Pit at a depth below 600 m.

KEY WORDS: Moray eel · Muraena helena · Age · Growth · Reproduction · Adriatic Sea

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Cite this article as: Matić-Skoko S, Tutman P, Petrić M, Skaramuca D, Đikić D, Lisičić D, Skaramuca B (2011) Mediterranean moray eel Muraena helena (Pisces: Muraenidae): biological indices for life history. Aquat Biol 13:275-284.

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