Reproductive Biology

Descriptions of reproductive biology of this and some other siganid species are based largely upon observations of captive individuals augmented by some field observations. This species spawns in pairs at dusk or dawn in relation to moon phase. Eggs are spherical and adhesive, measuring 0.02-0.025 in (0.55-0.66 mm), and are scattered on substrate (some siganid species have pelagic eggs, however). Larvae hatch out and measure about 0.08 in (2 mm) in length. They have a large yolk, an unformed mouth, a straight gut, unpigmented eyes, and a pattern of body pigmentation that is relatively stable with growth. Body shape is elongate, but this becomes deeper and laterally compressed with growth. Fin development begins before the yolk is absorbed and spines appear at about 0.11 in (3 mm) in length. Fin rays form at about 0.24 in (6 mm), but scales do not form until larval settlement. The larvae have the following specializations for pelagic life: long dorsal and pelvic fins that form early in development, fin spines that are serrate in shape, and the formation of spines upon the head.


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