The female reproductive system of Zearaja chilensis (Guichenot, 1848) (Chondrichthyes, Rajidae). Gametogenesis and microscopic validation of maturity criteria.

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-95022015000100049
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Anahí Wehitt; Edgardo E. Di Giacomo & Elena J. Galíndez

Summary

Chondrichthyans are extremely susceptible to overfishing due, among other things, to their reproductive adaptations. Basic knowledge of reproductive parameters is essential, both of ecological and for economic points of view. Zearaja chilensis is a valuable economic resource in South America. This work analyzes the microanatomy of female reproductive system, as well as the size of the onset of vitellogenesis. The material was fixed in Bouin and processed using routine histological techniques. Both ovaries are equally functional. Folliculogenesis depicts the same pattern of other Chondrichthyans. Follicles with different degrees of maturation coexist in mature animals, with the exception of oogonia, which were only found in immature individuals. Likewise, atretic follicles were recorded in all stages of maturation. The size of yolk input, microscopically recorded, is lower than the detected at naked eye. Oviductal glands and uterus show similarity with those reported in other lecitotrophic cartilaginous fish. This work reports, for the first time, the morfofunctional microanatomy of the species, and puts to the test the accuracy of the commonly employed criteria for the determination of sexual maturity, a critical data when determining management policies.

KEY WORDS: Elasmobranchs; Reproductive system; Ovary; Zearaja chilensis.

How to cite this article

WEHITT, A.; DI GIACOMO, E. E. & GALÍNDEZ, E. J. The female reproductive system of Zearaja chilensis (Guichenot, 1848) (Chondrichthyes, Rajidae). Gametogenesis and microscopic validation of maturity criteria. Int. J. Morphol., 33(1):309-317, 2015.