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

The contrasting hatching patterns and larval growth of two sympatric clingfishes inferred by otolith microstructure analysis

Jorge E. Contreras A , Mauricio F. Landaeta A E , Guido Plaza B , F. Patricio Ojeda C and Claudia A. Bustos A D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Laboratorio de Ictioplancton (LABITI), Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y de Recursos Naturales, Universidad de Valparaíso, Avenida Borgoño 16344, Reñaca, Viña del Mar, Chile.

B Escuela de Ciencias del Mar, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Avenida Altamirano 1480, Valparaíso, Chile.

C Departamento de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Alameda 340, Santiago, Chile.

D Programa Doctorado en Acuicultura, Universidad Católica del Norte sede Guayacán, Larrondo 1281, Coquimbo, Chile.

E Corresponding author. Email: mauricio.landaeta@uv.cl

Marine and Freshwater Research 64(2) 157-167 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF12232
Submitted: 26 August 2012  Accepted: 8 January 2013   Published: 25 February 2013

Abstract

Larval abundance, age, growth and hatching patterns of two sympatric clingfishes, Gobiesox marmoratus and Sicyases sanguineus (Pisces, Gobiesocidae), were estimated by using otolith microstructure analysis and compared on the basis of collections performed during the austral spring in 2010 off the coast of central Chile. G. marmoratus larvae were more abundant than S. sanguineus larvae during the study period. For both species, the sagittae deposited micro-increments during embryonic development (before hatching) and a hatch mark was observable in all examined otoliths. The sagittae otoliths of G. marmoratus grew in radius, perimeter and area faster than did the otoliths of S. sanguineus. Both species showed significant (P < 0.05) differences in larval growth and lunar periodicity of the hatching events. G. marmoratus hatched at smaller sizes (2.6 mm) mainly during the first-quarter moon and the larvae grew at rates of 0.24 ± 0.01 mm day–1. S. sanguineus hatched as larger larvae (>3 mm) during the first-quarter and full moons and grew at slower rates (0.14 ± 0.01 mm day–1) during the initial 25 days. The high abundance of larval clingfish in near-shore waters, temporal decoupling among the hatching events, and the different growth rates may be tactics to increase self-recruitment in coastal waters.

Additional keywords: Gobiesocidae, Gobiesox marmoratus, lunar cycle, sagittae, Sicyases sanguineus.


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