Natural spawning of the leopard grouper (Mycteroperca rosacea) in captivity in La Paz, Mexico

Main Article Content

Vicente Gracia-López
Minerva Concepción Maldonado-García
Marcos Fabián Quiñones-Arreola
Jorge León Sandoval-Soto
Francisco Javier Encarnación-Ramírez
Ana Gabriela Trasviña-Moreno
Gerardo Arturo García-González


Natural spawning of the leopard grouper (Mycteroperca rosacea) was studied in captivity from 2004 to 2008 under natural photoperiod conditions. Fish spawned naturally in 2006, but only 90,000 unfertilized eggs were collected. A total of 43 and 27 spawning days were observed in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Spawning season began in March and lasted until May–June and was related to an increase in water temperature from 21.1 to 23.8 °C. The mean (SE) number of eggs released each day was 101,705 (13,876) in 2007 and 40,510 (7,874) in 2008, and the total number of eggs collected in 2007 and 2008 was 4.37 × 106 and 1.07 × 106, respectively. The number of eggs collected per month was not significantly different within each year (P > 0.05), although a significant difference was observed between 2007 and 2008 (P < 0.05). The annual relative number of eggs released was 288,750 eggs·kg–1 in 2007 and 72,919 eggs·kg–1 in 2008, and viable egg production was 184,800 eggs kg–1 in 2007 and 25,375 eggs kg–1 in 2008. The fertilization rate (%) of the eggs collected daily differed significantly throughout the spawning season of 2007 (P < 0.05). The fertilization rate also differed (P < 0.05) between 2007 (61.10%) and 2008 (32.30%). Statistical analysis of the 2 consecutive spawning seasons indicated no correlation between the fertilization rate and fecundity. The effect of the moon phase on spawning was also considered. The fish spawned at dusk before total darkness. Mean (SD) egg diameter was 864.0 ± 22.0 μm.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Gracia-López, V., Maldonado-García, M. C., Quiñones-Arreola, M. F., Sandoval-Soto, J. L., Encarnación-Ramírez, F. J., Trasviña-Moreno, A. G., & García-González, G. A. (2023). Natural spawning of the leopard grouper (Mycteroperca rosacea) in captivity in La Paz, Mexico. Ciencias Marinas, 49.
Research Article



Angeles B, Mendo J. 2005. Crecimiento, fecundidad y diferenciación sexual del lenguado Paralichthys adspersus (Steindechner) de la costa central del Perú. Ecología aplicada. 4(1-2):105-112. DOI:

Bell B, Defouw RJ. 1966. Dependence of the lunar modulation of geomagnetic activity on the celestial latitude of the moon. J Geophys Res. 71:951-957. DOI:

Bright D, Reynolds A, Nguyen NH, Knuckey R, Knibb W, Elizur A. 2016. A study into parental assignment of the communal spawning protogynous hermaphrodite, giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus). Aquaculture. 459:19-25. DOI:

Carrillo M, Bromage N, Zanuy S, Serrano R, Prat F. 1989. The effects of modifications in photoperiod on spawning time ovarian development and egg quality in the sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). Aquaculture. 81(3-4):351-365. DOI:

Erisman BE, Buckhorn ML, Hastings PA. 2007. Spawning patterns in the leopard grouper, Mycteroperca rosacea, in comparison with other aggregating groupers. Mar Biol. 151:1849-1861. DOI:

Erisman B, Craig MT. 2018. Mycteroperca rosacea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T14053A100466656. [place unknown]: International Union for Conservation of Nature; [accessed 2021 February 09]. DOI:

Erisman BE, Rosales-Casián JA, Hasting PA. 2008. Evidence of gonochorism in a grouper, Mycteroperca rosacea, from the Gulf of California, Mexico. Environ Biol Fish. 82:23-33. DOI:

Estrada-Godinez JA, Maldonado-García M, Gracia-López V, Carrillo M. 2011. Reproductive cycle of the leopard grouper, Mycteroperca rosacea (Streets) and evidence of hermaphroditism = Ciclo reproductive de la cabrilla sardinera Mycteroperca rosacea en la bahía de La Paz, México. Cienc Mar. 37(4):425-441. DOI:

Estrada-Godínez JA, Maldonado-García M, Gracia-López V, Carrillo M, Rebollar-Prudente R,Spanopoulos-Zarco M. 2014. Efecto del fotoperiodo y la temperatura sobre la composición bioquímica en Reproductores silvestres de cabrilla sardinera, Mycteroperca rosacea (Streets, 1877) = Effect of photoperiod and temperature on the biochemical composition in wild broodstock of sardine cabrilla, Mycteroperca rosacea (Streets, 1877). Lat Am J Aquat Res. 42(1):85-96. DOI:

Fourooghifard H, Matinfar A, Abdolalian E, Moezzi M, Roohani-Ghadikolaee K, Kamali E, Allen S, Zahedi MR. 2017. Egg production and larval rearing of orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides) using reared broodstocks in Hormozgan Province, Iran. Iranian J Fish Sci. 16(3):984-992.

González-Cuellar OT, Plomozo-Lugo T, Castro-Moreno P, Weaver AH, Álvarez-Flores CM. 2019. Información de los recursos pesqueros, costa sudoriental de Baja California Sur. La Paz (Baja California Sur, Mexico): Sociedad de Historia Natural Niparajá AC y ProNatura Noroeste AC. 68 p.

Gracia-López V, Kiewek-Martínez M, Maldonado-García M. 2004a. Effects of temperature and salinity on artificially reproduced eggs and larvae of leopard grouper Mycteroperca rosacea. Aquaculture. 237(1-4):485-498. DOI:

Gracia-López V, Kiewek-Martínez M, Maldonado-García M, Monsalvo-Spencer P, Portillo-Clark G, Civera-Cerecedo R, Linares-Aranda M, Robles-Mungaray M, Mazón-Suástegui JM. 2005. Larvae and juvenile production of the leopard grouper, Mycteroperca rosacea (Streets 1877). Aquacult Res. 36(1):110-112. DOI:

Gracia-López V, Rodríguez-Romero J, Pérez-Ramírez JM. 2004b. Inducción del desove con HCG y desarrollo embrionario y de larvas de la cabrilla sardinera, Mycteroperca rosacea (Streets, 1877) = Hormone Induced spawning (HCG) and embryonic and larval development of the leopard grouper Mycteroperca rosacea (Streets 1877). Cienc Mar. 30(2):279-284. DOI:

Grant RA, Chadwick EA, Halliday T. 2009. The lunar cycle: a cue for amphibian reproductive phenology?. Anim Behav. 78(2):349-357. DOI:

Jagadis I, Ignatius B, Kandasami D, Khan MA. 2006. Embryonic and larval development of honeycomb grouper Epinephelus merra Bloch. Aquacult Res. 37(11):1140-1145. DOI:

James CM, Al-Thobaiti SA, Rasem BM, Carlos MH. 1997. Breeding and larval rearing of the camouflage grouper Epinephelus polyphekadion (Bleeker) in the hypersaline waters of the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabi. Aquacult Res. 28(9):671-681. DOI:

Jerez S, Samper M, Santamaría FJ, Villamandos JE, Cejas JR, Felipe BC. 2006. Natural spawning of greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili) kept in captivity in the Canary Islands. Aquaculture. 252(2-4):199-207. DOI:

Kanemaru T, Nakamura M, Murata R, Kuroki K, Horie H, Uchida K, Senthilkumaran B, Kagawa H. 2012. Induction of sexual maturation of the female honeycomb grouper, Epinephelus merra, in the non-breeding season by modulating environmental factors with GnRH analogue implantation. Aquaculture. 358-359:85-91. DOI:

Kiewek-Martinez M, Gracia-Lopez V, Carrillo-Estevez M. 2010. Comparison of the effects of HCG and LHRHa on the induction of ovulation of wild and captive leopard grouper, Mycteroperca rosacea. J World Aquacult Soc. 41(5):733-745. DOI:

Kungvankij P, Tiro LB, Pudadera BP, Potestas IO. 1986. Induced spawning and larval rearing of grouper (Epinephelus salmoides Maxwell). In: Maclean JL, Dizon LB, Hosillos LV (eds.), Proceedings of the First Asian Fisheries Forum., May 26–31, 1986. Manila (Philippines): Asian Fisheries Society. p. 663-666.

Lee WK, Yang SW. 2002. Relationship between ovarian development and serum levels of gonadal steroid hormones, and induction of oocyte maturation and ovulation in the cultured female Korean spotted sea bass Lateolabrax maculates (Jeom-nong-eo). Aquaculture. 207(1-2):169-183. DOI:

Lim LC. 1993. Larviculture of the greasy grouper Epinephelus tauvina F. and the brown-marbled grouper E. fuscoguttatus F. in Singapore. J World Aquacult Soc. 24(2):262-273. DOI:

Luo Z, Liu Y, Mai K, Tian L. 2005. Advances in the study on nutrient requirements of grouper (Epinephelus sp.): a review. J Ocean Univ China (English Edition). 4:93-98. DOI:

Maldonado-García M, Gracia-López V, Kiewek-Martínez M, Carrillo M, Zanuy S. 2018. Reproductive cycle of leopard grouper Mycteroperca rosacea (Streets, 1877) held in captivity: relationship between gonad development and sex steroid concentration. Lat Am J Aquat Res. 46(1):83–90. DOI:

Martínez-Lagos R, Gracia-López V. 2009. Morphological development and growth patterns of the leopard grouper Mycteroperca rosacea during larval development. Aquacult Res. 41:120-128. DOI:

Martínez-Lagos R, Tovar-Ramírez D, Gracia-López V, Lazo JP. 2014. Changes of digestive enzyme activities during larval development of leopard grouper (Mycteroperca rosacea). Fish Physiol Biochem. 40(3):773-785. DOI:

Mathew G. 2010. Spontaneous spawning of Epinephelus tauvina (Forskal) in captivity. J Mar Biol Ass India. 52(1):14-18.

Mustafa S, Hajini MH, Senoo S, Kian AYS. 2015. Conditioning of broodstock of tiger grouper, Epinephelus fuscoguttatus, in a recirculating aquaculture system. Aquacult Rep. 2:117-119. DOI:

Mylonas CC, Papadaki M, Pavlidis M, Divanach P. 2004. Evaluation of egg production and quality in the Mediterranean red porgy (Pargus pargus) during two consecutive spawning seasons. Aquaculture. 232(1-4):637-649. DOI:

Mylonas CC, Zohar Y. 2001. Use of GnRHa-delivery systems for the control of reproduction in fish. Rev Fish Biol Fish. 10:463-491. DOI:

Ofelio C, Guarniero I, Cariani A, Viroli C, Bonaldo A, Gatta PP, Parma L. 2020. Monitoring of common sole Solea solea (L) captive broodstock from Northern Adriatic Sea over consecutive spawning seasons. Aquacult Rep. 18(2020):100495. DOI:

Okumura S, Okamoto K, Oomori R, Nakazono A. 2002. Spawning behavior and artificial fertilization in captive reared red spotted grouper Epinephelus akaara. Aquaculture. 206(3-4):165-173.http:// DOI:

Papadaki M, Papadopoulou M, Siggelakia I, Mylonas CC. 2008. Egg and sperm production and quality of sharpsnout sea bream (Diplodus puntazzo) in captivity. Aquaculture. 276(1-4):187-197. DOI:

Papanikos N, Phelps RP, Williams K, Ferry A, Maus D. 2003. Egg and larval quality of natural and induced spawns of red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus. Fish Physiol Biochem. 28(1–4):487–488. DOI:

Peláez-Mendoza AK. 1997. Hábitos alimenticios de la cabrilla sardinera Mycteroperca rosacea Streets, 1877 (Pisces: Serranidae) en la Bahía de La Paz BCS y zonas adyacentes [BSc thesis]. [La Paz (BCS, Mexico)]: Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur (UABCS). 71 p.

Pérez-Rojo MP. 2016. Hábitos alimentarios de la cabrilla sardinera Mycteroperca rosacea (Streets, 1877), en Santa Rosalía, BCS, México [MSc thesis]. [La Paz (BCS, Mexico): Instituto Politécnico Nacional. Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas. 65 p.

Ranjan R, Megarajan S, Xavier B, Dash B, Ghosh S, Menon M, Edward LL. 2017. Conditioning, maturation and year‐round natural spawning of orange‐spotted grouper, Epinephelus coioides (Hamilton, 1822) in recirculating aquaculture system. Aquacult Res. 48(12):5864-5873. DOI:

Reyes-Becerril M, Tovar-Ramírez D, Ascencio-Valle F, Civera-Cerecedo R, Gracia-López V, Barbosa-Solomieu V. 2008. Effects of dietary live yeast Debaryomyces hansenii on the immune and antioxidant system in juvenile leopard grouper Mycteroperca rosacea exposed to stress. Aquaculture. 280(1-4):39-44. DOI:

Reyes-Becerril M, Tovar-Ramírez D, Ascencio-Valle F, Civera-Cerecedo R, Gracia-López V, Barbosa-Solomieu V, Esteban MA. 2011. Effects of dietary supplementation with probiotic live yeast Debaryomyces hansenii on the immune and antioxidant systems of leopard grouper Mycteroperca rosacea infected with Aeromonas hydrophila. Aquacult Res. 42(11):1676-1686. DOI:

Rimmer MA, Glamuzina B. 2019. A review of grouper (Family Serranidae: Subfamily Epinephelinae) aquaculture from a sustainability science perspective. Rev Aquacult. 11:58–87. DOI:

Rowell TJ, Aburto-Oropeza O, Cota-Nieto JJ, Steele MA, Erisman BE. 2019. Reproductive behaviour and concurrent sound production of Gulf grouper Mycteroperca jordani (Epinephelidae) at a spawning aggregation site. J Fish Biol. 94(2):277-296. DOI:

RStudio Team (2020). RStudio: Integrated Development for R. Boston, MA: RStudio, PBC; accessed 24 August 2022.

Sala E, Aburto-Oropeza O, Paredes G, Thompson G. 2003. Spawning aggregations and reproductive behavior of reef fishes in the Gulf of California. Bull Mar Sci.


Sala E, Aburto-Oropeza O, Reza M, Paredes G, López-Lemus LG. 2004. Fishing down coastal food webs in the Gulf of California. Fisheries. 29(3):19-25.[19:FDCFWI]2.0.CO;2 DOI:[19:FDCFWI]2.0.CO;2

Stolov HL. 1965. Further investigations of a variation of geomagnetic activity with lunar phase. J Geohys Res. 70:4921-4926. DOI:

Superio J, Fakriadis I, Tsigenopoulos CS, Lancerotto SA, Rodriguez AV, Vervelakis E, Mylonas CC. 2021. Spawning kinetics and parentage contribution of European sea bass (S) broodstocks, and influence of GnRHa-induced spawning. Aquacult Rep. 21:100766. DOI:

Toledo JD, Nagai A, Javellana D. 1993. Successive spawning of grouper, Epinephelus suillus (Valenciennes), in a tank and a floating net cage. Aquaculture. 115(3-4):361-367. DOI:

Tucker JW Jr. 1994. Spawning by captive Serranid fishes: a review. J World Aquacult Soc. 25(3):345-359. DOI:

Whaylen L, Pattengill-Semmens, Semmens BX, Bush PG, Boardman MR. 2004. Observations of a Nassau grouper, Epinephelus striatus, spawning aggregation site in Little Cayman, Cayman Islands, including multi-Species spawning information. Environ Biol Fish. 70:305-313. DOI:

Zabala M, Garcia-Rubies A, Louisy P, Sala E. 1997. Spawning behaviour of the Mediterranean dusky grouper, Epinephelus marginatus (Lowe, 1834) (Pisces: Serranidae), in the Medes Islands Marine Reserve (NW Mediterranean, Spain). Sci Mar. 61(1):65-77.

Zanuy S, Prat F, Carrillo M, Bromage NR. 1995. Effects of constant photoperiod on spawning and plasma 17β-oestradiol levels of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). Aquat Living Resour. 8(2):147-152. DOI:

Zohar Y, Mylonas CC. 2001. Endocrine manipulations of spawning in cultured fish: from hormones to genes. Aquaculture. 197(1-4):99-136. DOI: