The reproductive biology of the common stingaree Trygonoptera testacea (Urolophidae) in eastern Australia

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Journal Article
Australian Zoologist, 2011, 35 (3), pp. 627 - 632
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The common stingaree, Trygonoptera testacea, is abundant on the continental shelf of eastern Australia but little is known of its ecology and reproduction despite it being a common component of the demersal trawl fishery. Specimens of T. testacea were collected from bycatch to investigate the species' reproductive biology. Males were found to mature at a disc width of 22 cm, while females reached sexual maturity at 26 cm disc width. Of all the I testacea examined, 53% of males (n= 159) and 16% of females (n=62) were sexually mature. Only the left uterus and ovary were found to be functional in female 7! testacea. One gravid female carrying two near term embryos was sampled in February 2004. Many other females caught during the same trawl were observed aborting embryos providing a tentative estimate parturition period, which appears to be between the months of February and April. Although further investigation is required to determine if I testacea populations are threatened by fishing pressures, the current study has provided key demographic parameters vital for the design of a management plan for T. testacea and similar populations.
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