Alternate Title

Partial Life History of Southern Hogchokers, Trinectes maculatus fasciatus, in the Back Bay of Biloxi, Mississippi


To address life history variation between hogchoker subspecies, length-weight relationships, length conversion factors, back-calculated lengths at age, and female age at maturity were determined for a southern hogchoker population in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Length-weight relationships of female and male hogchokers differed (P < 0.05) only when the regression was based on total lengths. The standard length (SL)-weight equation was W = 0.000022·L3.136. Individuals of the southern population are more robust than those of the northern form, yet have similar SL-TL conversion factors. Otolith annuli were validated, with annuli forming between June and July. The age structure ranged from 1 to 5 yr, with the average SL at age 1 being 21.14 mm. Growth rates appear relatively constant over these 5 yr, with only slight decreases seen in the fourth and fifth year. Females are mature by age 3 or 4. This age structure is different from that reported for mid-Atlantic coast populations with both fewer age classes and lower lengths at age found in the Gulf specimens. The age at maturity for this population is intermediate between values for the northern subspecies in New York and Maryland. Southern hogchokers are smaller and possibly shorter lived than northern hogchokers, suggesting an altered life history in warmer environments.