Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

Reproductive Biology of the Black Dogfish, Centroscyllium Fabricii, Collected From Waters off Western Greenland

Kazunari Yanoa1

a1 Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Agency of Japan, 2–5–20 Higashiyamato-machi, Shimonoseki 750, Japan

The reproductive biology of 1124 male (165–760 mm TL) and 1476 female (175–898 mm TL) black dogfish, Centroscyllium fabricii, was examined. The sharks were caught off western Greenland with bottom otter trawls. Size at maturity was about 550 mm TL in males and 650 mm TL in females. Ovarian ova did not continue to develop during gestation. The sex ratio of embryos was 1:1. Litter size ranged from 4 to 40, with a mean of 16–4. The total number of mature ova, fertilized ova, or embryos tended to increase with size of the females. Development of black dogfish embryos is dependent solely on yolk reserves. Near-term embryos (152–192 mm TL) had completely absorbed their external yolk sacs. The smallest free-living specimens collected in this study were 165 mm TL for males and 175 mm TL for females. The black dogfish does not seem to have a well-defined breeding season. This species displayed a well-defined pattern of depth segregation by size. The sex ratios in five shallow depth strata (500–599, 600–699, 700–799,800–899, and 900–999 m) were 1:1, but those of three deeper depth strata (1000–1099,1100–1199, and 1200–1299 m) contained a significantly greater number of females than males. Four abnormal hermaphrodites possessed gonads containing both testicular and ovarian tis-sues. Two specimens had normal female reproductive organs (e.g. ovaries, oviducts, nidamental glands, and uteri) as well as claspers.