Flower Garden Banks NMS coral spawn report

Emma Hickerson Emma.Hickerson at noaa.gov
Thu Sep 19 13:49:20 EDT 2002


Below is a record of the observations during the annual  coral spawning
cruise at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, located in the
northwest Gulf of Mexico.  Apologies for the delay in posting this

Please forward any questions or comments to Emma Hickerson, Research
Coordinator, FGBNMS:  emma.hickerson at noaa.gov

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
Northwest Gulf of Mexico
Annual Coral Spawning Cruise Report
August 27 to September 1, 2002

Report compiled by Emma L. Hickerson,
Research Coordinator, FGBNMS
Input provided by Dr. Peter Vize,  University of Calgary

Coral Spawning

21:00 to 22:00  Montastraea franksi  minimal spawning event.  Observers
commented on general diminished size of gamete bundles that appeared to be
staying in stringy masses in water column.  One observer documented up to 20
heads releasing gametes.
21:00 Diploria strigosa. Up to five colonies releasing gametes.

21:35 to 21:40  M. cavernosa one female observed releasing eggs
20:50 to 22:00 (sparse after 21:45) D. strigosa  Mass spawning event.  One
observer reported approx. 40 heads releasing gamete bundles.
21:20 to 22:45 M. franksi .  Mass spawning event.  One observer reported
approx. 50 heads releasing gamete bundles.
22:19 to 22:45 Stephanocoenia intercepta. Up to 10 male heads were observed
releasing sperm
22:25 to 22:45  S. intercepta.  Approx. 5 female heads were observed
releasing eggs.
22:55 to later than 23:05 M. faveolata.  Approx. 4 heads were observed
releasing gamete bundles prior to diver leaving bottom.

2100 Colpophylia natans  one head observed releasing gamete bundles
22:10 to 22:40 S. intercepta.  Approx. 10 males observed releasing sperm
22:30 to 22:40 S. intercepta.  Approx. 4 females were observed releasing

20:47 to 21:00 C. natans   mass spawning event.  One observer reported
approx. 20 colonies releasing gamete bundles
22:15 to 22:45 S. intercepta  mass spawning event.  Majority of observations
were males

N.B.  Additional coral spawning (unidentified species) were observed during
the period 7-10 days after the full moon in July at the Flower Garden Banks
National Marine Sanctuary by recreational divers.

Other invertebrate spawning

09:00 creamy/pinkish finger sponge (Aplysilla sulfuria?) under coral ledges
releasing sperm
22:10 Spirobranchus giganteus  (Christmas tree worm) one male observed
releasing sperm

Eunicid polychaete worm (Lysidice ninetta) observed spawning.
21:35 to 22:00  S. giganteus between 30 and 50 individual males observed
releasing sperm
21:35 to 21:15 Ophioderma rubicundum  one ruby brittle star female observed
releasing eggs

prior to 20:30 to and later than 2130 O. squamossisimum  red brittle star
males observed in aggregations of up to 6 individuals, releasing sperm and
at least one female observed releasing eggs.
21:00 O. rubicundum  at least one ruby brittle star female observed
releasing eggs

During the dive period, large numbers of both O. rubicundum (~100) and O.
squamossisimum  (~30) were observed, but not releasing gametes.

11:00 Ectyoplysia ferox (volcano sponge) females observed with extruded eggs
hanging off sponge.

Fish spawning activity

09:00 Acanthurus coeruleus  (blue tang) displaying courtship behavior
12:00  Thalassoma bifasciatum (bluehead wrasse) observed spawning
17:30  Holocentrus rufus  (longspine squirrelfish) observed displaying
spawning behavior
0700  Cryptotomus roseus (bluelip parrotfish) observed displaying courtship

Emma L. Hickerson
Research Coordinator
emma.hickerson at noaa.gov

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
216 W. 26th St.  Suite 104
Bryan, Texas 77803
979-779-2705 ph
979-779-2334 fax


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