Endocrine and morphological correlates of reproduction in the draughtboard shark Cephaloscyllium laticeps (Elasmobranchii: Scyliorhinidae)

J Exp Zool A Ecol Genet Physiol. 2008 Apr 1;309(4):184-97. doi: 10.1002/jez.445.


This study examined the endocrine and reproductive correlates of reproduction in 636 female and 468 male draughtboard sharks (Cephaloscyllium laticeps) captured from southeastern Australia. Females were oviparous and displayed a single external-type ovary with a maximum follicle diameter of 35 mm. Vitellogenesis commenced at a follicle diameter of 10 mm. Females showed a constant overlap between follicular recruitment, ovarian growth, and egg laying. The male reproductive tract consisted of paired testes with spermatocysts undergoing diametric development. Plasma levels of the presumptive gonadal steroids, testosterone (T), 17beta-estradiol (E2), progesterone (P4), and 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT; males only) were correlated with morphological developmental stages of the gonads. In females, E2 increased as the follicle developed before declining as the follicle reached maturity. T remained low during the first stages of ovarian growth and increased as the follicle reached maturity. P4 showed a peak just before ovulation. In males, T was the only hormone that varied with maturity, increasing in adults; E2 and P4 were present at low plasma concentrations in males and did not change with stage of gonadal development. 11-KT was undetectable at all times. Endocrine changes in draughtboard sharks were consistent with hormonal correlates reported for other species and suggest roles for E2( in females) and T (in both sexes) in gametogenesis and P4 in maturational events in females.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Genitalia / anatomy & histology*
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood
  • Male
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Reproduction / physiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sharks / anatomy & histology*
  • Sharks / metabolism*
  • Sharks / physiology
  • Spermatozoa / cytology
  • Tasmania


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones