Reproductive biology of common snook Centropomus undecimalis (Perciformes: Centropomidae) in two tropical habitats
Martha A. Perera-García, Manuel Mendoza-Carranza, Wilfrido M. Contreras-Sánchez, Maricela Huerta-Ortíz & Eunice Pérez-Sánchez


In Southeastern Mexico, Centropomus undecimalis is an important fish species of sport and commercial fisheries for coastal and riverine communities. Fisheries along rivers and coasts depend on migratory habits of this species, and these movements are probably related to reproduction. In spite of its economic importance, few studies have been conducted focusing on its reproductive biology, and this research aims to analyze these habits. Samples (fork length, somatic and gonads weight, and macroscopic maturity stages) were obtained from organisms collected by fishermen from the largest fishing cooperatives along the coastal and riverine areas of Tabasco, from July 2006 to March 2008. Fish size ranged from 34 to 112cm fork length, with an average age of 6.42 years for males and 9.12 years for females. In riverine areas, fish sizes ranged from 30 to 85cm and the average age was 5.5 years for males and 6.6 years for females. Significant differences were recorded between lengths of males and females from the two areas (Kruskal-Wallis, p<0.05). The male:female ratio was 1:0.68 in the coast, and 1:0.16 in riverine areas. The length-weight relationship did not vary between both sexes among areas (ANCOVA, p>0.05). A curve for eviscerated weight was calculated for both sexes, for coastal fishes SW=0.0059(FL)3.07, and the riverine ones SW=0.0086(FL)2.98, with an isometric growth (b=3). The period of maximum reproduction was from July to August, with temperatures of 28 to 30°C. A significant correlation between the gonadosomatic index (GSI) and rainfall was recorded for samples of both males and females from coastal areas (r=0.63, r=0.70) whereas only one positive correlation was recorded for riverine females (r=0.57). The size at first maturity (L50) was estimated at 60cm and 80cm (FL), corresponding to 5.5 and 8.5 years of age, for males and females, respectively. An important proportion of mature females of eight years and older, suggests that these ages contribute significantly to the reproductive biomass. The results indicate that due to changes in the exploitation period, we recommend to protect populations of the common snook.


En este estudio, se analizó la biología reproductiva y poblacional del robalo blanco (Centropomus undecimalis). El material biológico se obtuvo en los desembarcos de la pesca artesanal de las cooperativas de mayor contribución en la zona costera y ribereña durante julio de 2006 a marzo de 2008. En la zona costera las tallas oscilaron entre 34 a 112cm (LF) y en la zona ribereña entre 30 a 85cm. Se encontraron diferencias significativas entre las longitudes de machos y hembras en ambas zonas de estudio (Kruskal- Wallis, p<0.05). La proporción machos:hembras fue 1:0.68 en la costa y 1:0.16 para la zona ribereña. La relación longitud-peso no difirió entre sexos en las dos zonas de estudio (ANCOVA, p>0.05). El periodo máximo reproductivo fue de julio a agosto. En la zona costera, se encontró una correlación significativa entre el IGS y precipitación pluvial para machos y hembras (r=0.63, r=0.70), en la zona ribereña solo se encontró un correlación positiva en las hembras (r=0.57). La talla de primera madurez (L50) se estimó a los 60cm para hembras y 80cm (LF) para machos correspondiendo a 5.5 y 8.5 años de edad respectivamente. Los resultados sugieren un cambio en el periodo de explotación para la conservación de las poblaciones del robalo blanco y su producción.