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Received 13 March 2002 Accepted 17 April 2002

Summary: Received 13 March 2002
Accepted 17 April 2002
Published online 22 July 2002
The breeding biology of lemon sharks at a tropical
nursery lagoon
Kevin A. Feldheim1
, Samuel H. Gruber2
and Mary V. Ashley1*
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, 845 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science,
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149, USA
Surprisingly little is known about the reproductive behaviour and breeding biology of most shark species,
especially in natural populations. Here, we characterize reproductive patterns and use of a natal nursery
at Bimini, Bahamas by lemon sharks, Negaprion brevirostris. We systematically and exhaustively sampled
young lemon sharks at Bimini annually from 1995 to 2000 and opportunistically sampled adults over the
same period. Out of the 897 young sharks sampled, 119 could be assigned to ve sampled mothers using
microsatellite genotyping. Reproductive females showed strong philopatry to the nursery, returning to
Bimini every two years to give birth. Each of these females may rely entirely on the Bimini nursery for


Source: Ashley, Mary V. - Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology