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

Publisher:
Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Australian Zoologist, 2011, 35 (3), pp. 627 - 632
Issue Date:
2011-01
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The common stingaree, Trygonoptera testacea, is abundant on the continental shelf of eastern Australia but little is known of its ~cology 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 se~ually mature. Only the left uterus and ovary were found to be functional in female I testacea. One gravid female carrying two near term embryos was sampled in February 2004. Many other females daught during the same trawl were observed aborting embryos providing a tentative estimate parturitiàn 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 I testacea and similar populations.
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