Reproductive biology

Depending upon the species, tetraodontiform fishes have diverse mating systems and spawn demersal or pelagic eggs. Seasonality may be pronounced at higher latitudes or in colder, deeper waters. Reproduction also may be linked to lunar or semilunar cycles. Little is known of the reproductive biology of the deep-dwelling spikefishes, threetooth puffers, and shallow-dwelling triplespines, but their eggs are likely demersal and their larvae pelagic. Boxfishes have mainly male-dominated mating groups, court and spawn at dusk, and produce pelagic eggs and larvae. Triggerfishes have varying mating systems, including monogamy, bigamy, and polygyny. They usually spawn demersal eggs in nests that are guarded quite aggressively by females or, to a lesser extent, by males. Larvae are pelagic. The filefishes and leatherjack-ets studied thus far have mating systems that include monogamy, facultative monogamy, polygyny, female visiting within male territories, or promiscuity. They all appear to lay demersal eggs in nests or on algae. There may be male parental care, female parental care, biparental care. or no care of eggs. The larvae are pelagic and may be adapted for an extended pelagic existence.

Pufferfishes have diverse mating systems and patterns of courtship and spawning. The eggs generally are demersal and are laid in nests on algae or scattered on the bottom. The eggs of some species are poisonous. Porcupinefish reproductive behavior appears to vary within as well as between species. Both pair and group (single female and multiple males) spawning has been reported for Diodon holacanthus. Courtship begins at dusk, and spawning is pelagic in shallow water and may involve splashing at the surface as eggs and milt are released. Alternately, the eggs may sink to the bottom. The larvae are pelagic as well. Eggs of the genus Chilomycterus reportedly are demersal, although their larvae are pelagic. Details of courtship and spawning of molas are not well known.

They are highly fecund and produce hundreds of millions of pelagic eggs. The larvae are also pelagic.

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