Summer spawning of Porites lutea from north-western Australia
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Most coral species off Australia's west coast spawn in the austral autumn (March-April), with a few species also spawning in the southern spring or early summer (November-December). This is the reverse timing to spawning recorded off Australia's east coast. Porites lutea, a gonochoric broadcast spawner that is common on Australia's west coast, is shown here to spawn in the months of November or December, as it does on Australia's east coast. Spawning occurred between 2 and 5 nights after full moon, with the majority of spawning activity on night 3. Gametes developed over three to four months with rapid development in the last two weeks before spawning. Zooxanthellae were typically observed in mature oocytes, only a week before spawning so their presence may provide a useful indicator of imminent spawning.
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