Reproductive biology of ridgeback shrimp Solenocera choprai (Decapoda, Penaeoidea, Solenoceridae) off Mangalore coast, south India


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Abstract:  The ridgeback shrimp Solenocera choprai has emerged as one of the important commercial species in 60–100 m depth zone off Karnataka coast, India, since 1993. Studies were conducted on S. choprai to understand its reproductive biology which can help in formulating policies for management of the species. The diagnostic features of reproductive morphology of the species were studied and illustrated in detail. Based on the coloration and size of the ovary and ova diameter variations, five stages of maturity in female S. choprai were identified. The mature ova are fully yolked with diameters between 0.24 and 0.35 mm. Size at maturity (50%) has been estimated at 54.5 and 66.5 mm total length (TL) in males and females, respectively. The gonadosomatic index (GSI) showed an increasing trend according to the advancement of maturity of the ovary, and monthly mean GSI showed a positive correlation with monthly percentage of spawners. Solenocera choprai was found to be a continuous breeder with two peaks: a major peak in November and another extended peak during January–February. The estimated numbers of ova in the mature ovary were 38 532 and 133 689 in shrimps measuring 80 and 110 mm TL, respectively. A sigmoidal increase in the female-to-male sex ratio with increase in size was noticed in the species. A χ2-test showed that the annual distribution of females and males is not significantly different from a 1:1 ratio at the 1% level.