Alternate Title

Observations of a Black Grouper (Mycteroperca bonaci) Spawning Aggregation in Bermuda

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Diving observations at a black grouper (Mycteroperca bonaci) spawning aggregation site on Bermuda’s reef platform revealed many similarities to observations of this species obtained at multi-species spawning aggregation sites in Belize. In addition to similarities in body sizes, color patterns and some behavior, the principal spawning period in the days after the full moon was also similar. Although spawning was not observed in this study, there was ample indirect evidence of spawning at the site, i.e. courtship behavior by males, females with distended abdomens, and color changes. The formation of temporary spawning territories by males and courtship behavior within these territories is described and illustrated. Taken together, these data appear to indicate that the behavior of black grouper at spawning aggregations is consistent across a broad latitudinal range from Belize in the south to the northern limit of the species’ range in Bermuda.

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