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Latitudinal disparity in the reproductive cycle of sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon lalandii (Elasmobranchii: Carcharhinidae), in Atlantic waters off South America

Morgana M. Macedo Marcia F. Sousa Vandick S. Batista About the authors

Geographical variation in biophysical conditions may strongly influence the life history characteristics of widely distributed species, such as the Brazilian sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon lalandii (Müller & Henle, 1839). Here, we use original and secondary data of reproductive traits of R. lalandii to identify population differences among northern/northeastern and southern Atlantic waters of South America. In the southeast region, birth occurs between December and March, and the young become frequent along the coast between April and September. Mating occurs mainly between March and June, when females with bite marks are common. Females in early pregnancy occur between March and September. The reproductive cycle of R. lalandii in the northern/northeastern region was approximately six months ahead of the cycle described for the southeastern region. These results support the hypothesis that environmental conditions in the North-Northeast and Southeast generate differences in life history traits, resulting in at least two distinct populations along the Brazilian coast.

Coastal waters; life history; reproductive traits; northeastern Brazil

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