First observation on the mating behaviour of the endangered scalloped hammerhead shark Sphyrna lewini in the Tropical Eastern Pacific

Pelayo Salinas de León, Edgar Mauricio Hoyos Padilla and Federico Pochet

 

Environmental Biology of Fishes (2017).

 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10641-017-0668-0

 

Abstract

 

Here we provide a detailed analysis of the first complete sequence of a mating event for the endangered scalloped hammerhead shark, Sphyrna lewini. This analysis is based on a mating event recorded at Isla del Coco National Park, Costa Rica, where large schools of hammerhead sharks are frequently encountered. S lewini mating sequence can be characterized by: (1) an open water encounter, (2) pre-copulatory biting, (3) grabbing of pectoral fin/copulation, (4) free fall, (5) separation and (6) following. Based on this single observation we found that only one male appears to be involved in a copulation cycle and that mating took place in a high current zone potentially to favor respiration when both individuals are unable to swim. This observation highlights the difficulty in observing mating behavior for this species since mating is likely to occur in open waters.

 

Keywords

 

Hammerhead shark, Reproduction, ETP, Conservatio

 

 

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