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Latitudinal variation in reproduction timing of whiteleg shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei (Decapoda, Penaeidae) of the Mexican Pacific coast

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The reproductive period of the whiteleg shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei (Boone, 1931) was analysed to determine its relationship to sea surface temperature (SST) in two zones of the Mexican Pacific coast. Mature females from fishing areas in the north (Mazatlán, 23°N 106°W) and south (Gulf of Tehuantepec, 15°N 95°W) and monthly SST values in a 1° geographic rectangular area were examined. Average SST for 1983-2005 increased from Mazatlán (26.2 ± 0.2°C) to Tehuantepec (28.3 ± 0.5°C). Seasonal variation in SST between the coldest and warmest months was 7.8°C in Mazatlán and 3.3°C in Tehuantepec. The reproductive period near Mazatlán is seven months, and it is year-round in Tehuantepec. This study suggests that warm water and low seasonal variability facilitate the reproduction of the white shrimp over a longer period.

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