Labrids are abundant on temperate rocky reefs yet their life histories are poorly known. Three co-occurring Australian labrids (Ophthalmolepis lineolatus, Notolabrus gymnogenis and Pictilabrus laticlavius) exhibited protogynous hermaphroditism typical of labrids. Juveniles reached sexual maturity at 184mm total length (TL) (2.1 years) in O. lineolatus, 177mm TL (1.8 years) in N. gymnogenis and <95mm TL (<0.9 years) in P. laticlavius. Individuals were sexually active initial phase females until changing to a terminal phase male at 295mm TL (5.2 years) in O. lineolatus, 273mm TL (4.5 years) in N. gymnogenis and 138mm TL (2.0 years) in P. laticlavius. The occurrence of males only at greater lengths and older ages suggests that O. lineolatus and N. gymnogenis are monandrous, whereas P. laticlavius appears to be diandrous. Reproduction was asynchronous among species with reproductive activity peaking in January–March for O. lineolatus, April–October for N. gymnogenis and October–December for P. laticlavius. Sectioned otoliths revealed that O. lineolatus and N. gymnogenis grew rapidly to 300mm TL (6 years) and P. laticlavius to 180mm TL (3 years). Longevity was at least 13.8, 9.6 and 4.8 years respectively. These life history data will aid management of these frequently harvested species.
Marine and Freshwater Research Vol. 59, Issue 7, p. 560-574