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Biology of the shrimp Oplophorus spinosus (Brullé, 1839) (Decapoda, Oplophoridae) in the continental slope waters of the coast of northwest Africa

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The size-sex structure and reproduction of the pelagic shrimp Oplophorus spinosus (Brullé, 1839) in the northwestern African continental slope is described herein. A total of 175 males and 53 females were caught by pelagic and bottom trawls at depths of 354-913 m in October-May 2003-2005. Total body length (TL) was 20-55.5 mm in males and 28.5-54 mm in females. Female TL at first maturity was 31 mm, the TL of ovigerous females ranged from 39.5-54 mm. Fecundity varied from 5 to 25 eggs with an outer diameter of 3.21 ± 0.19 mm at the beginning of embryogenesis and 3.14 ± 0.16 mm at half-time. O. spinosus has a continuous spawning period with a possible peak in spring. Its main reproductive traits are similar to those of this species from the Pacific and are comparable with the other species of this genus. In general, Oplophorus spp. are typical K-strategists with large-sized eggs and low fecundity.

Affiliations: 1: Kaliningrad State Technical University, Department of Ichthyopathology and Hydrobiology, 1 Soviet Prospect, 236000 Kaliningrad, Russia


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