Pelagic larval duration and settlement sizes in species of Apogonidae, Labridae, Scaridae, and Tripterygiidae in a coral lagoon in southern Japan were examined. Sampling was conducted monthly from July 2004 to June 2005 in the coral lagoon and channel of the Oh-do Beach on Okinawa Island, Japan. Pelagic larval duration was estimated by the number of otolith increments. Mean standard length at settlement of apogonids ranged from 7.7 to 13.9 mm, and mean pelagic larval duration ranged from 14.0 to 30.6 days (14 species, 418 individuals). In labrids, mean standard length at settlement and pelagic larval duration varied greatly (mean standard length: 5.4–11.0 mm; pelagic larval duration: 18–57 days, four species, four individuals). Scarids showed consistent mean standard length at settlement and pelagic larval duration (mean standard length: 7.1–7.6 mm; pelagic larval duration: 29–42 days, five species, 25 individuals). In tripterygiids, pelagic larval duration was more consistent (range: 18–29 days, mean: 22.2 ± 2.1 days), but mean standard length at settlement ranged from 7.8 to 10.3 mm (six species, 32 individuals). These results suggest that the pelagic larval duration of Apogonidae and Tripterygiidae (nonpelagic egg spawning) is shorter than that of Labridae and Scaridae (pelagic egg spawning), and the dispersal strategy of labrids and scarids may include wider dispersal than that of apogonids and tripterygiids.
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Vol. 65 • No. 1