Energy allocation patterns during the reproductive cycle of echinoderms may be determined by the different energy requirements of the organisms. In this study, we describe the energy reserves variation in the gonads, pyloric caeca and stomach among the gametogenic stages of a population of Cosmasterias lurida from the Beagle Channel, Argentina. Adult individuals of C. lurida were collected from the subtidal zone of Ushuaia Bay during four seasonal sampling periods (August 2010 to June 2011). Indices, energy density (kJ/g ash-free dry mass) and energy content (kJ) of gonads, pyloric caeca and stomach were determined. Oocytes number and diameter were evaluated. Cosmasterias lurida had a major peak of gonadal index (GI) in mature gonads (M), with a great decrease towards the spawning (PS/PSR) and remature (RM) periods. No variation was observed in the energy density of the gonads (EDG). The energy content of the gonads (ECG) presented a similar pattern to the GI. Thus, the gonadal storage cycle can be explained through the variation in gonad mass more than in its energy density. Females had higher ECG and EDG values than males, which suggest a greater energy contribution in females during the reproductive cycle. The stomach and the pyloric caeca indices, energy density and energy content remained unaltered among the stages. The energy density of pyloric caeca (EDPC) was higher in mature males than in mature females. Likewise, the energy density of the stomach (EDS) was overall higher in males than in females. This inverse pattern between sexes in relation to the EDG may suggest a transference of energy from the pyloric caeca and stomach to gonads during maturate stage playing a storage role for reproduction. Rev. Biol. Trop. 65(Suppl. 1): S197-S206. Epub 2017 November 01.

Keywords: sea star, body indices, energetics, gametogenic stages, oocyte size distribution, reproductive biology.