African Zoology

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Reproduction and larval distribution of the penaeid prawn Macropetasma africanus (Balss) in Algoa Bay

AC Cockcroft, T Wooldridge


Breeding adults and larvae of Macropetasma africanus were sampled over a two-year period in Algoa Bay, South Africa. Gonadal macro- and microscopic examination enabled classification of breeding females into four stages of development. Breeding females were present throughout the study with a summer peak of late maturing and mature females. Larvae were present in the plankton throughout the study with peak abundance in summer. Protozoea, mysis and post-larval stages were recorded with the mysis stage most abundant. Significantly higher numbers of the mysis and post-larval stages were taken at shallow stations (5 m) off sandy beaches than at the deeper stations (18 m). The presence of breeding females in the mature stage of ovarian development and the increase in larval abundance in summer indicates spawning throughout the year with peak intensity in summer.

S. Afr. l. Zool.1987, 22(3)

AJOL African Journals Online