Morone saxatilis is polyandrous. A group of 7 to 8 males surround a single larger female, and once surrounded, males bump the female to the waters surface. This act is often referred to as “rock fights,” due to the splashing that occurs on the surface of the water. Once at the surface, males continue bumping the female until she releases her eggs into the water. Once the eggs are discharged into the water, males release their sperm.
Mating System: polyandrous
Striped bass begin spawning when temperatures warm to about 18 degrees C. They tend to spawn in rivers and in brackish estuaries. Major spawning locations include the Hudson River, the Chesapeake Bay and the Roanoke River-Albermarle Sound watershed. Once fertilized, embryos drift in the current for 1.5 to 3 days. Female can release between 500,000 and 3 million eggs during a single spawning event; however, less than one percent of embryos survive for more than a couple of months after hatching. Male striped bass typically reach sexual maturity at 2 to 3 years of age, and females reach sexual maturity at 5 to 6 years of age.
Breeding interval: Striped bass spawn once a year.
Breeding season: Striped bass spawn once a year, from April to mid-June.
Range number of offspring: 500,000 to 3,000,000.
Range time to hatching: 1.5 to 3 days.
Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 5 to 6 years.
Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 2 to 3 years.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (External ); broadcast (group) spawning; oviparous
Striped bass are broadcast spawners and embryos developed while suspended in the water column. As a result, parental care is nonexistent in this species.
Parental Investment: no parental involvement
- Diodati, P. 2007. "Striped Bass" (On-line). Accessed March 02, 2011 at http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dmf/recreationalfishing/stripedbass.htm.
- Sanders, B. 2010. "Striped Bass Spawning Habits" (On-line). Accessed March 02, 2011 at http://www.arkansasstripers.com/striper_spawning.htm.