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Age, growth, and long-distance dispersal in the western North Atlantic of vexillifer larvae of the pearlfish, Echiodon dawsoni, with notes on Carapus bermudensis (Ophidiiformes: Carapidae)
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    Ichthyological Research, 62(4), 409-419.

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  • Description:
    We examined 120 vexillifer larvae of Echiodon dawsoni and 40 of Carapus bermudensis collected from the continental shelf and slope of the Gulf of Mexico and the western North Atlantic to Nova Scotia. Age was estimated for a subset of vexillifers, from which otoliths (sagittae) were excised and growth increments were recognizable, and a linear, estimated age at length relation was constructed. Spawning appeared to be year round for both species across their range. All estimated age classes of Ec. dawsoni were collected south of 35 A degrees N, but north of 35 A degrees N all vexillifers of Ec. dawsoni were older than 55 days. Only one C. bermudensis was collected north of 35 A degrees N. The occurrence of vexillifers of Ec. dawsoni north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, USA, indicates long-distance dispersal to inhospitable habitats and might be related to their spawning farther offshore than C. bermudensis, in regions where their vexillifers are more likely to be entrained into the Gulf Stream and transported northeastward.
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