Volume 72

Does the Age of the Queen Conch Female (Lobatus gigas) Affect Steroid Hormones and Fecundity?

Aldana Aranda, D; F. Chong, P. Santana; R. Andreze-Louison
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 150-153

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Two Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


The queen conch, Lobatus gigas occupies an important place in the fishing economy as it is the second most economically important fishery in the Caribbean, but this resource is over exploited. Thus, in the face of the scarcity of resources, it is important to put in place appropriate and effective management plans. From this perspective, it is necessary to understand its reproductive pattern, specially the fertility rate and its variations influenced by biological factors of the organism. The Goal of this study was to know the fertility rate and the age of queen conch females. The concentrations of estrogen, testosterone and progesterone were measured by high performance liquid chromatography and a UV detector. The three sex hormones were present in this species, and their concentrations increased with the age/size of the conch, being higher in the oldest organism. Old females showed the highest concentration of testosterone and Estrogen (1.8 ± 0.3 and 2.1 ± 0.4 ng/ml, respectively). Progesterone concentration in this category of females was, 1.2 ± 0.7 ng/ml). A positive correlation was observed between the fecundity rate and the older females that present a thicker lip of their shells. Pearson correlation between estrogen and spawning activity were r = 0.32 and for testosterone, r =0.70 and progesterone, r=0.64. This study constitutes the first use of a non-invasive method to analyze steroids hormones, showing that sex hormones may be controlling this species’ reproductive events, as occurs in other gastropods. These results could support new measures for the sustainable management of the queen conch, prohibiting the fishing of deep-sea organisms.

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