Reproductive Biology

In the western Atlantic, spawning occurs from September to April with peaks between December and February. Both sexes reach sexual maturity during their third year, at lengths of 19.9 and 18.9 in (50.5 cm and 47.9 cm) in males and females, respectively. Spawners occasionally form huge aggregations. Spawning occurs over hard, rocky bottoms, and activity peaks when temperatures are between 40.1 and 42.8°F (4.5 and 6.0°C). Eggs and larvae develop pelagically, and small pelagic juveniles begin to enter inlets in February and March, when they are <2.0 in (50 mm) long.

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