Lack of scleractinian mass spawning in Puerto Rico.

Hernandez Edwin A l823836 at goliath.CNNET.CLU.EDU
Wed Aug 26 14:51:09 EDT 1998

Dear coral listers:
   Our research group was diving at Carlos Rosario Beach, Culebra Island
(27 km off northeastern Puerto Rico), on the evening of August 16, 1998
(8th. evening after August full moon).  We made observations from 20:00 to
23:30 hrs.  No mass spawning was observed in Scleractinians.  We only observed
5 colonies of the columnar morphotype of Montastrea annularis expelling
sperms (cream colored) from 21:00 to 21:45 hrs.  In all cases, it occurred
in several pulses every 2 to 10 minutes, and only in a few polyps (less
than 5% of the total polyps/colony).  Only 1 25-cm diameter colony was
observed spawning eggs (pink-orange colored) at 21:15.  In addition, a few
eggs bundles were dispersed and carried away by the current between 20:47
and approximately 22:00 hrs.  These observations were made during calm
weather and slack high tide. Nothing else was observed during our dive.

   Some members of our research group were also diving at the eastern tip
of Flamenco Beach, Culebra Island, during the evening of August 15, 1998,
between 21:00 and 23:00.  No spawning was observed.

   In addition, according to Beatriz Martinez (Instituto de Oceanologia de
Cuba, personal communication), no spawning was observed in Cuba on August

   Our observations suggest that it might be highly possible that we will
have an split spawning event this year, with most probable dates for mass
spawning during September 10-15, 1998 (4th. to 9th. evenings after full


Edwin A. Hernandez-Delgado
University of Puerto Rico
Department of Biology
Coral Reefs Research Group
P.O. Box 23360
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00931-3360

Tel (787) 764-0000, x-4855
Fax (787) 764-2610

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