Table of Contents
International Journal of Oceanography
Volume 2016, Article ID 8729835, 5 pages
Research Article

Evidence of Sperm Storage in Nursehound (Scyliorhinus stellaris, Linnaeus 1758): Juveniles Husbandry and Tagging Program

1Aquarium Mondo Marino, Centro Studi Squali, Massa Marittima, Italy
2Dipartimento di Biologia, Ecologia e Scienze della Terra, Università della Calabria, Rende, Italy
3Responsabile Unità Operativa Risorsa Ittica e Biodiversità Marina, ARPAT Settore Mare, Via Marradi 114, 57100 Livorno, Italy
4Shark Research Center, 8 Lower Glen Road, Glencairn, South Africa

Received 29 March 2016; Revised 14 June 2016; Accepted 15 June 2016

Academic Editor: Heinrich Hühnerfuss

Copyright © 2016 Primo Micarelli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nursehound, Scyliorhinus stellaris (Linnaeus 1758), is a shark of the Scyliorhinidae family, close to the Scyliorhinus canicula (Linnaeus 1758), frequently hosted in public aquaria. Information on biology and ecology is deficiently available regarding this species of sharks. In the Mediterranean basin, they are occasional rare and vulnerable species (Serena, 2005). In 2003 a female specimen of Scyliorhinus stellaris, 90 cm long, fished in the Tyrrhenian Sea was transferred to Tuscany Argentario Mediterranean Aquarium and placed in a 20.000 L tank. The female laid 42 eggs and juveniles were born on 2004 and 2005. They were transferred to the aquarium laboratory in order to get standard protocol for correct juveniles husbandry. After a total of 18-month observations, some of them were tagged and let free on 2006. To collect data about nursehound shark needs in terms of feeding and growing in captivity, especially during the first life years, is a necessary and fundamental step in order to develop a Mediterranean program of tagging and study in the field of conservation policy proposal. Husbandry protocol for this species’ juveniles was developed in this study. This is the first reported case of a nursehound storing sperm for 2 years, in captivity (Pratt, 1993; Hamlett et al., 2002; Awruch, 2007).