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The biology of the white musselcracker Sparodon durbanensis (Pisces:Sparidae), on the Eastern Cape, South Africa coast

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 20:19 authored by Colin BuxtonColin Buxton, Clarke, JR
Aspects of the biology of the musselcracker Sparodon durhanensis, an important shore-angling species on the south-eastern coast of South Africa, are described from material collected between August 1984 and March 1987. Juvenile fish live in tidal pools and in shallow subtidal waters, where they feed on a variety of small invertebrates and chlorophytes. Larger fish are more common in deeper water down to about 30 m, but they also feed inshore, consuming large invertebrate prey such as gastropods, pelecypods, solitary ascidians, crustaceans and amphineurans. They are rudimentary hermaphrodites, mature at approximately 350 mm fork length and have a restricted breeding season between August and January, during which period they spawn small pelagic eggs. Growth studies based on 5ectioned sagittal otoliths reveal musselcracker to be slow-growing and long-lived. that both grow at a similar rate and that they can survive to at least 31 years of age. The specie, is likely to be highly susceptible to overexploitation even though the fish are not commercially exploited. and more stringent management measures are called for to ensure the survival of the species as a recreational angling resource.


Publication title

South African Journal of Marine Science




285 - 296




Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Sea Fisheries Research Institute

Place of publication

Cape Town, South Africa

Rights statement

Copyright © 1991 National Inquiry Services Centre (NISC)

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences

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