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Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências

versão impressa ISSN 0001-3765

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LIMA, Eduardo J.B.; GOMES, Paula B.  e  SOUZA, José R.B.. Reproductive biology of Echinometra lucunter (Echinodermata: Echinoidea) in a northeast Brazilian sandstone reef. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2009, vol.81, n.1, pp. 51-59. ISSN 0001-3765.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0001-37652009000100007.

The edible sea urchin Echinometra lucunter (Linnaeus, 1758) is a very common species on the sublittoral-midlittoral in Brazilian rocky shores. The aim of this work was to describe the gametogenesis and reproductive strategy of the E. lucunter population at Muro Alto beach in the Northeast coast of Brazil from August 2004 to August 2005. A total of 240 specimens were collected on the sandstone reef flat from a tidepool during spring low tides. The overall sex ratio was1.12:1,withoutsignificanttemporalvariationexceptinOctober2004. Firsts sexual maturity ocurred in individuals from a diameter of 20.8 mm. There was not a significant difference in gonad index between females and males during the sampling period. The female's gonad index variation was associated with a well-defined spawning, corroborated by the histological analysis of the gonads, which demonstrates sex differences of the gamete production. By contrast, the males showed no clear pattern. It is suggested that continuous reproduction with seasonal peaks in the E. lucunter population occurs at Muro Alto beach.

Palavras-chave : beach rock; Brazil; Echinodermata; reproduction; sea urchin.

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