Coral spawning on Lee Stocking in August
Jay Randall Reichman
j.reichman at mail.utexas.edu
Mon Sep 25 14:55:49 EDT 1995
This is a late note about spawning activity that was observed on North
Perry Reef at Lee Stocking Island, Bahamas on Aug. 17 and 18.
Aug.17: At 21:15 - 21:30 a single colony of Montastrea cavernosa was
observed releasing a milky substance (presumed to be sperm) in a series of
pulses. From 21:30 - 21:45 many pink/orange balls approx. 1-2mm diameter
(probably eggs packs from another Monastrea type) were seen in the water
column. The exact colonies from which these balls were released could not
be confirmed. Throughout the night there were dense clouds of worms, small
fish and other juvinille organisms which were attracted to the lights.
Aug. 18: At 21:15 - 21:45 many colonies of M. cavernosa were seen with
white packets at the mouths of polyps with retracted tentacles. During the
same time large swellings were noted in the grooves of a colony of
Copophyllia natans. 21:30, a foamy white slick was observed on the surface.
22:00, a platy colony of Montastrea faveolata (?) released many 1-2mm
pink/orange balls in a single pulse. These looked to the unaided eye to be
identical to those seen on the previous night. The specific identy of the
platy Montastrea is uncertain at present. This colony was examined in the
field by Judy Lang and was thought to be M. faveolata, however, the slide
which we took of this colony leaves us still wondering. The slide is being
sent to Ernesto Weil for comment. We may have to collect the coral during
our return to Lee Stocking in October for "expert" identification. 22:10,
5 brittle stars (Ophioderma rubicundum) were observed
in an aggregation on top of another platy Montastrea adjacent to the one
described above. Again, there were huge amounts of worms, small fish, etc
swarming around the lighting equipment.
We are still waiting to hear about observations made on Lee Stocking during
Dept. of Zoology
University of Texas at Austin
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