The oocytes at different stages of development were characterized morphometrically, and seasonal changes in female gonads of the Far-eastern edible holothurian Cucumaria japonica (Semper, 1868) from the Peter the Great Bay were described. Groups of oocytes and categories of sexual tubules corresponding to different stages of development of gonads were distinguished. Free laying oocytes were divided into several groups, i.e., oocytes 3, 4 and 5. The greatest size of C. japonica oocytes was 460 μm. In various seasons of the year there was greater growth of oocytes in the gonads, which reached its maximum volume during reproduction of the holothurians. The gonads developed asynchronously. All the stages of development were observable simultaneously in the gonads of each individual of this species during the reproductive cycle, and the stage of fast growth prevailed. C. japonica spawned twice a year, in May–June and from July to October. Unreleased oocytes were subjected to resorption.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 12, 2007
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