During gestation, essential and non-essential trace elements are transferred from the pregnant females to embryos. This study aimed to determine and compare the concentrations of seven essential trace elements (Fe, Zn, Se, Cu, Mn, Cr, Co) and six non-essential trace elements (As, Cd, V, U, Tl, Ag) in the muscle and the liver of a Munk's pygmy devil ray pregnant female, Mobula munkiana, and its embryo. Transfer evidence of essential and non-essential trace elements was detected in M. munkiana tissues. Arsenic was found in elevated concentrations in the pregnant female and the embryo tissues. Elevated levels of Cd, V, U, and Ag were found in the pregnant female liver, but were minimal in the embryo tissue. This is the first study to investigate maternal transfer of essential and non-essential trace elements in these species and their reproductive strategy.
Keywords: Embryo; Histotrophy; Ray; Reproduction; Trace elements.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.