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Zoology Publications from Victoria University of Wellington—Nos. 63 and 64

Spawning and Development of T. Capito

Spawning and Development of T. Capito

In the Lyall Bay and Island Bay area near Wellington T. capito spawns from mid-July to late October. Egg masses are found from mid-tide to low tide levels in areas of rubble. The egg clusters are comparatively small measuring about 7 × 4cm and containing 2-3 hundred eggs. The eggs are laid close together forming flat, irregular shaped masses.

The egg clusters may contain groups of eggs at different stages of development, suggesting differing spawning times on the one substrate. In situ the eggs are colourless, pale pink or pale orange, the latter being associated mainly with the later "eyed egg" stages of development where the yolk is compact and the blood flow is copious. Being small and essentially transparent the egg clusters may pass unnoticed by the casual observer. The pale pink eggs blend in with encrusting pink algae. Virtually all egg masses observed on the shore had an adult T. capito in attendance. On several occasions 2-3 adults were found close to the eggs. The male T. capito found with the eggs kept at the laboratory remained close to the eggs, moving from side to side and fanning the pectoral fins to create a current of water. This constant circulation apparently ensures a supply of oxygenated water to the eggs and helps in the removal of detritus that may otherwise attach to the egg surface.

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