BIOTIC Species Information for Palinurus elephas
Researched byAngus Jackson & Charlotte Marshall Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismPlanktotrophic
Reproductive SeasonJuly to October Reproductive LocationAs adult
Reproductive frequencyAnnual protracted Regeneration potential No
Life spanInsufficient information Age at reproductive maturity3-5 years
Generation timeInsufficient information FecunditySee additional information
Egg/propagule sizeInsufficient information Fertilization typeExternal
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potential1km-10km Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stage1-6 months   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationAge at maturity is labile and depends on environmental conditions. Fecundity
Fecundity in Palinurus elephas is influenced by the size of the female, with heavier specimens producing more eggs (Ceccaldi & Latrouite, 1994). Goñi et al. (2003) reported fecundity in a marine reserve in the western Mediterranean to be between ca 23,000-202,000 eggs. This is generally three to five times lower than fecundity in many other spiny lobster populations (Hunter, pers. comm.).
Mating is usually preceded by a ?pre-mating? moult which occurs up to four weeks earlier (Ceccaldi & Latrouite, 1994). When the female is ready to mate, she emits a specific noise (stridulation) which attracts a mate (Mercer, 1973, cited in Ceccaldi & Latrouite, 1994). The male then deposits a spermatophore below the genital opening of the female.
Females bearing spermatophores have been reported from August to October in Britain and Ireland (Hepper, 1977; Ansell & Robb, 1977; Hunter, et al., 1996; Hunter, 1999). In laboratory experiments, Ansell & Robb (1977) found that eggs were released 7-10 days after the deposition of the spermatophore. As the eggs are laid, the spermatophores are usually torn with the claw on the fifth pereiopods (Mercer, 1973, cited in Hunter et al., 1996), thereby fertilizing the eggs. The first newly berried females in Cornwall and Wales were observed in August and, by January, 90% of Cornish females were found to be berried (Hunter et al., 1996). Incubation in the Atlantic is typically nine months after which the eggs hatch in early summer (Hunter, 1999). In Mediterranean population, incubation lasts for only five months, probably reflecting warmer water temperatures (Hunter, 1999). Hepper (1977) noted that eggs were laid in late summer / autumn in Cornwall and hatched the following spring / early summer. Most eggs have hatched by June in Wales and Cornwall (Hunter et al., 1996). In Scotland, hatching was thought to have occurred in April and May (Ansell & Robb, 1977). There is only one clutch per year.
In the Mediterranean, pueruli were found to settle between June and July in the western Mediterranean spending about five months in the plankton (Diaz et al., 2001).
Reproduction References Hepper, 1977, Hunter et al., 1996, Ansell & Robb, 1977, Ingle, 1997, Hunter, 1999, Noel, 1999, Ceccaldi & Latrouite, 1994, Goñi et al., 2003, Goñi & Lacrouite, 2005,
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