Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Abstract

The invasion of the Indo-Pacific lionfish, Pterois volitans and Pterois miles, in the western Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico has caused extensive damage to ecosystems in their invaded range. Removal efforts will be improved by reliable life history information applicable to the invaded range. Using Pterois individuals from the Dry Tortugas National Park, we documented ages and estimated parameters for a length-age relationship using von Bertalanffy growth models and tested differences in these parameters between the sexes. We collected data on lionfish over a period of 4 months (June to September) in 2016 documenting 97 lionfish and collected 67 of them. Total wet weight (g) estimated from combined data for both sexes was equal to 0.000003 × total length (mm)2.87. Sagittal otoliths (n = 58) indicated that lionfish were 0-7 yrs old. The estimated parameters of the von Bertalanffy equations were K =0.26 and L∞ = 376 mm for the both sexes combined. Results of this study provide the first insights into the age structure and growth of lionfish in the Dry Tortugas National Park, which will aid in management of the species.

Comments

Division: MES

MPS Track: MCO

Location: National Park Service

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