Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Diversity and evolution of life histories of gobioid fishes from the viewpoint of heterochrony

Takeshi Kon and Tetsuo Yoshino

Marine and Freshwater Research 53(2) 377 - 402
Published: 22 April 2002


The ontogenies of the gobioid fishes are matched against a framework of age-based heterochrony and their life-history strategies are discussed on the basis of published reports. Deceleration was observed in Leucopsarion, Crystallogobius and some species of Luciogobius from temperate or cold waters. Hypomorphosis was observed in Schindleria, Paedogobius and another species of Luciogobius, the former two genera maturing at one month or two after hatching throughout the year in tropical environments. Acceleration was observed in oxudercines, soft bottom-dwellers in intertidal areas and mangrove swamps, during larval and juvenile periods. Their acceleration, based on warm conditions allowing fast metamorphosis, may be an adaptation allowing immediate recruitment to a littoral life style. Hypermorphosis was observed in Acanthogobius flavimanus, which develops more slowly than other congeners. Isomorphosis by acceleration and hypomorphosis was observed during the larval and juvenile periods in fluvial Rhinogobius spp. and Acentrogobius viridipunctatus. This developmental shift, with truncation of the larval period, seems to be an important event among gobioid fishes, facilitating their survival in severe environments such as spates in rivers or on mudflats.

© CSIRO 2002

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