Reproductive biology

There are numerous reproductive modes in the Scor-paenoidei. All species are iteroparous (having more than one spawning event per lifetime) and have many sexual partners (at least the males). One of the most interesting scorpaenoid reproductive strategies is live birth, which is found in some

The face of a tub gurnard (Chelidonichthys lucerna) near Brittany, France, in the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo by Jeff Rtman/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

rockfishes (Sebastidae). The live-born Sebastes embryos are interesting, because they derive nutrients both from the yolk sac and directly from the mother. A possibly related reproductive strategy is used by many scorpaenoids (e.g., Pterois and Sebastolobus). In this strategy, the male inseminates the female, and then the female extrudes the fertilized eggs in a gelatinous mass that floats at the surface. There are many scorpaenoid species that are typical broadcast spawners with planktonic larvae, for example, sea robins (Triglidae) and pig-fishes (Congiopodidae). Last, there are two scorpaenoid families whose reproductive biology is unknown—orbicular velvetfishes (Caracanthidae) and velvetfishes (Aploactinidae).

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