Spawning in East Africa

Judith Mendes judith_mendes at
Thu Mar 13 13:44:31 EST 2003

Dear Sangeeta,

Two years ago I did a review of spawning times at different geographical
locations around the world. At that time I did not find any reports of
spawning from Kenya. However, I did find a relationship between spawning,
temperature and rainfall. Basically, spawning occurred at the highest
temperatures outside of, and prior to, the period of heaviest rainfall.
These results were included in a paper published in Marine Ecology Progress
Series last year:

Mendes JM and Woodley JD (2002) Timing of reproduction in Montastraea
annularis: relationship to environmental variables. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.

Based on that work, and on plotting the following mean monthly temperature
and rainfall data for Mombasa (taken from
Month   Temp(C)Rainfall (mm)
Jan     27.6    28.4
Feb     28.0    16.2
Mar     28.4    60.3
Apr     27.6    182.2
May     26.0    293.0
Jun     24.9    101.1
Jul     24.2    82.1
Aug     24.2    65.1
Sept    24.9    65.7
Oct     25.9    90.2
Nov     26.9    96.4
Dec     27.6    63.4

I would suggest that you look for spawning after the full-moon in March, and
again after the full-moon in April.  How many nights after the full-moon? I
don’t know, the literature reports spawning anywhere from 1 to 11 nights
after the full-moon. Perhaps someone more familiar with the species you are
working on can narrow it down for you.
The full-moon in March is on the 18th (next week Tuesday!), and in April it
is on the 16th.

Good luck with your spawning hunt. I would be interested to know what you

Judith Mendes

Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 13:46:42 +0100
From: "Sangeeta Mangubhai" <smangubhai at>
Subject: Spawning in East Africa


I am currently undertaking my Masters through Southern Cross University,
Australia. However, I am based in Mombasa, Kenya and I am studying the
reproductive ecology (spawning, gametogenic cycles, fecundity, recruitment)
of 4
selected coral species (Acropora valida, Platygyra daedalea, P. sinensis,
Echinopora gemmacea) in the Mombasa Marine Park and Reserve.

I am writing to find out whether anyone has measured, recorded or made any
field observations of corals (any species) spawning in East Africa or the
wider Western Indian Ocean. If so, I would like to find out the following:

1. Which coral species you observed spawning?
2. Where was spawning observed - if possible a reef/site name as well as
the country?
3. When was spawning observed - time of day, date, year?
4. Any studies that have been undertaken in the region on spawning &

Please note, I am interested in hearing any general observations made in the
field of spawning and am happy to summarise the results of my query back to
the list.

Regards Sangeeta
Sangeeta Mangubhai
PO Box 10135
Bamburi, Mombasa
Tel:  +254 (11) 474 582 (home)
Tel/Fax:  +254 (11) 5486 473 (work)
Mobile: 0733-698-771
Email:  smangubhai at

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