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News about the reproductive ecology of the southern conger eel Conger orbignianus

  • Daniel E. Figueroa (a1), Gustavo Macchi (a2) (a3) and Manuel Haimovici (a4)


Congrids inhabit the warm and temperate seas of the world, from the coastline to the slope of various continents. Many of its species are much valued by commercial and artisan fishing; nevertheless, at world level, there is great ignorance about the life cycle of the members of this genus. Some species of the genus, such as those from the North Atlantic, appear to be semelparous, for they cease feeding, decalcify, loose their teeth and migrate to deep waters to spawn. Specimens of the southern conger eel Conger orbignianus were examined for the purpose of learning about their biology in waters of the western South Atlantic. Histological sections were analysed from ovaries of coastal conger specimens from the North Argentina coastal littoral, the Argentine Sea deep waters, and the giant congers from southern Brazil. Two oocitary generations have been observed in coastal females typical of total spawners, with a previtellogenetic batch that does not reach maturity, and a vitellogenetic batch that does it together with its size, completely surrounded by adipose tissue. The ovaries of fish captured in deep waters occupied the whole abdominal cavity, with scarce adipose tissue and degraded body. The giant congers from southern Brazil were captured in very deep waters, healthy, with few atretic oocytes and abundant adipose tissue. Evidence of semelparity was found in the southern conger eel; the asistosis stage, the body degradation during the reproductive migration and gigantism might be common attributes in other species of the genus.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: D.E. Figueroa, Departamento de Ciencias Marinas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Funes 3350, Mar del Plata (7600), Argentina email


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News about the reproductive ecology of the southern conger eel Conger orbignianus

  • Daniel E. Figueroa (a1), Gustavo Macchi (a2) (a3) and Manuel Haimovici (a4)


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