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Aquatic Biology

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AB 18:59-62 (2013)  -  DOI:

Life cycle of the sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus: duration of and growth in the marine life stage

Sergio Silva1,2,*, María J. Servia3, Rufino Vieira-Lanero2, Sandra Barca1,2, Fernando Cobo1,2

1Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Departamento de Zoología y Antropología Física, Campus Vida,
15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
2Estación de Hidrobioloxía ‘Encoro do Con’, Castroagudín, 36617 Vilagarcía de Arousa, Pontevedra, Spain
3Universidad de A Coruña, Departamento de Biología Animal, Biología Vegetal y Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias, Campus da Zapateira, 15008 A Coruña, Spain

ABSTRACT: Little is known about the marine life-history phase of the anadromous sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus. The most widely accepted hypothesis suggests a hematophagous feeding phase of 2.5 yr. We captured and tagged (individually numbered T-bar anchor tags) 408 postmetamorphic sea lampreys during the onset of the hematophagous feeding phase in the River Ulla and its estuary (NW Spain). One marked sea lamprey was recaptured during its spawning migration (total length: 895 mm, weight: 1218 g). This individual had been marked 13.5 mo before recapture, and had measured 218 mm and 20 g. Our results suggest that at least a portion of the sea lamprey population can reach adult size in 1 yr of hematophagous feeding. This further suggests a period between completion of metamorphosis and reproduction of 1.5 yr (18 to 20 mo).

KEY WORDS: Growth · Adult · Feeding · Anadromous · Hematophagous · Estuary

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Cite this article as: Silva S, Servia MJ, Vieira-Lanero R, Barca S, Cobo F (2013) Life cycle of the sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus: duration of and growth in the marine life stage. Aquat Biol 18:59-62.

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