Distribution and abundance of Strombus gigas (Linné 1758) larvae were studied in Alacranes reef to identify if this marine protected area could be a basin site for recruitment of this species. Duplicate samples were collected every month from November 1999 to October 2000. Plankton tows were made with a conical net of 302-μm mesh-size. During the sample period, 1,864 veligers were collected. Larvae were more abundant during June through August, with 1,288 larvae (69.10%), September through February with 367 larvae (19.69%), and 209 larvae were counted in March through May (11.21%). Larval density varied from 0.31 veligers · 10 m−3 in March to 5.24 veligers · 10 m−3 in June; 86.42% of larvae were less than 350 μm, and 2.35% were between 450 and 950 μm. A high abundance of small sizes suggests that Alacranes reef is a very important basin site for the recruitment of Strombus gigas larvae. Moreover surface marine current in Alacranes reef is northeast and crossing the lagoon reef, thus Alacranes could supply S. gigas larvae to Florida.
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Vol. 26 • No. 1