Scientia Marina, Vol 73, No 1 (2009)

Variability in oocyte size and batch fecundity in anchoveta (Engraulis ringens, Jenyns 1842) from two spawning areas off the Chilean coast

Elson M. Leal
Laboratorio de Oceanografía Pesquera y Ecología Larval (LOPEL), Departamento de Oceanografía, Universidad de Concepción , Chile

Leonardo R. Castro
Laboratorio de Oceanografía Pesquera y Ecología Larval (LOPEL), Departamento de Oceanografía, Universidad de Concepción , Chile

Gabriel Claramunt
Departamento de Ciencias del Mar, Universidad Arturo Prat, Iquique , Chile


Utilising histological preparations of ovaries from Engraulis ringens females collected in two contrasting spawning habitats along the Chilean coast, we assess the variability in oocyte size and batch fecundity during the peak spawning seasons in three years. The effects of female size (length and weight), batch fecundity and mean sea surface temperature on oocyte size were also examined. Results showed larger oocytes and lower batch fecundity in females from the southern area. Oocyte volume differences persisted inter-annually and were not explained by differences in female sizes. Since ovary weight was similar between areas, the cost of producing larger oocytes in the south population seems to be a fecundity reduction. The latitudinal variations in oocyte number and size seem to be determined by the predominant environmental conditions in each habitat. Hence, female E. ringens seem to adapt their reproductive tactics by producing eggs sizes and quantities that favour survival of their offspring under the environmental conditions in which they are to develop.


oocyte size; inter-population variations; Humboldt Current; small pelagic; egg size; latitudinal variations

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