ISSN 1063-0740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2007, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 173–180. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2007.
Original Russian Text © G.V. Belova, G.I. Viktorovskaya, 2007, published in Biologiya Morya.
The Far Eastern edible holothurian
(Semper, 1868) is one of commercial holothu-
rian species intensely ﬁshed at the Paciﬁc coast of the
Far East. The irreversible depletion of stocks as a result
of overﬁshing can occur very quickly for long-living
sessile animals, such as holothurians .
Knowledge of the reproductive biology of a marine
organism is a necessary condition for competent,
undamaging exploitation of its population. Therefore,
there is a necessity for more detailed study of the given
At present, the reproduction
biology of this species is studied insufﬁciently. Some
researchers have undertaken attempts to describe sea-
sonal changes in the gonads of
, their terms
of spawning, and their oocytes at different stages of
development [1, 2, 4, 5, 14, 20, 21, 25]. However, there
is no clear idea of the pattern of reproduction, of the
terms of spawning and maturation of sex cells, and of
their morphometric characteristics as yet. For example,
Arbuzova and Yakovlev  subdivided oocytes of
into the small, average and large catego-
ries. Cherkasova and Avramenko  distinguished
oogonia and oocytes with periods of lesser and tropho-
plasmatic growth and also described the morphological
distinctions of the given groups of cells in the gonad of
this species in general. Yakovlev et al.  distin-
guished the stages of gonad maturation in
by the classiﬁcation applied to holothurians with syn-
chronous gonad development, e.g., such as the Far East
(Selenka, 1912). Data con-
cerning the periods of spawning of the cucmarian dif-
fered in the results of various authors [2, 5, 14, 20, 21].
The present work is devoted to the study of variabil-
ity of morphometric parameters of oocytes at different
stages of maturation and to research on the seasonal
changes in ovaries of
from the Peter the
Great Bay. All research up to 2000 was conducted on
local populations of
, while we studied the
animals living in commercial aggregations.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The cucumarians were sampled using the trawling
technique at a depth of 50-60 m in several areas of the
Peter the Great Bay, at Askold, Screplev and Russian
Islands in Amursky and Ussuriisky Bays from April to
December 2001 and 2002.
The sex of the animals was determined visually by
the color of the female and male gonads, green and yel-
low–green respectively, and by gonad smears using the
standard technique . The condition of the ovaries
was studied on histological slides.
Female gonads of the cucumarian were ﬁxed with
70% alcohol and embedded in parafﬁn by the standard
Morphometric Characteristic of Sex Cells and Seasonal
Changes of Female Gonads of
(Semper, 1868) (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea)
from Peter the Great Bay, Sea of Japan
G. V. Belova and G. I. Viktorovskaya
Paciﬁc Scientiﬁc Research Fisheries Center (TINRO Center), Vladivostok, 690950 Russia
Received September 21, 2006
—The oocytes at different stages of development were characterized morphometrically, and seasonal
changes in female gonads of the Far-eastern edible holothurian
(Semper, 1868) from the
Peter the Great Bay were described. Groups of oocytes and categories of sexual tubules corresponding to dif-
ferent 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
oocytes was 460
m. In various seasons of the
year there was greater growth of oocytes in the gonads, which reached its maximum volume during reproduc-
tion 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.
spawned twice a year, in May-June and from July to October. Unreleased
oocytes were subjected to resorption.
: oocyte, gonad,
, Peter the Great Bay.