Sex differentiation in seasonal distribution of the starry smooth-hound Mustelus asterias

Brevé, Niels W.P.; Winter, Hendrik V.; Wijmans, Paul A.D.M.; Greenway, Eleanor S.I.; Nagelkerke, Leopold A.J.


This mark-recapture study of starry smooth-hound Mustelus asterias tagged during the summer months near the Dutch coast demonstrates a large-scale spatial sex differentiation in their circannual migration patterns and small-scale spatial sex differentiation during summer. Overwintering occurs in the North Sea, English Channel and Bay of Biscay, with significantly more males in the Northern North Sea and more females in the Bay of Biscay. During summer, sheltered sea arms off the Dutch coast were almost exclusively used by adult females. In subsequent summers post-release, both sexes were mostly confined to the Southern North Sea, suggesting philopatry.