Seasonal changes in sperm production and quality in the red porgy Pagrus pagrus (L.)


Correspondence: C C Mylonas, Institute of Marine Biology of Crete, PO Box 2214, Iraklion, Crete 71003, Greece. E-mail:


Cultured red porgy Pagrus pagrus (L.) males (n=6) were sampled every 2 weeks for milt, in order to monitor changes in sperm quality parameters during a whole spawning period. On 11 January 2001, 60% of the fish were spermiating, increasing to 100% in mid-February and dropping to 30% by mid-April. Sperm density showed a slight increasing trend, with mean values ranging between 8.6 and 23.7×109 spermatozoa mL−1. Sperm motility percentage exhibited a significant improvement during the spawning season (analysis of variance (anova) P=0.0001). The duration of forward motility for the major part of the monitoring period ranged between 2 and 4 min. Red porgy spermatozoa maintained their viability for many days after whole storage of milt at 4°C. During the monitoring period there were significant changes in the mean duration of sperm survival after cold storage, ranging from 5 to 12 days. The total volume of expressible milt was maximal on 28 March, increasing from a mean value of 1.7 mL to 5.3 mL kg−1. Milt production of captive-reared red porgy does not appear to be limiting, when compared with the volume of expressible milt produced by other cultured marine fishes.