Scientia Marina, Vol 73, No S1 (2009)

Development and allometric growth patterns during early larval stages of the spotted sand bass Paralabrax maculatofasciatus (Percoidei: Serranidae)

Renato Peña
Unidad Piloto de Maricultivos, CICIMAR-IPN, Mexico

Silvie Dumas
Unidad Piloto de Maricultivos, CICIMAR-IPN, Mexico


We describe the allometric growth patterns of Paralabrax maculatofasciatus larvae raised under culture conditions. From hatching to day 30, ten to fifteen larvae were sampled each day and measured using digital photograph software. Morphometric measurements included total length, head length, body length, tail (post anal) length, head depth, body depth, muscle height, tail depth, mouth length and eye diameter. Allometric growth was modeled by a power function and patterns in allometry were described by the growth coefficient (power function exponent). Based on the changes in the growth coefficients we can infer changes in ontogenetic priorities related to developmental stages of the spotted sand bass. During the yolk sac and preflexion stages (TL interval = 1.57 to 4.38 mm) there is an evident priority to enhancing the feeding and swimming capabilities by promoting accelerated growth in the head and tail length. During the flexion stage (TL interval = 4.89 to 7.54 mm), there is a major decrease in the growth coefficients, indicating a change in growth priorities. At the end of the postflexion stage there is an evident tendency to isometry for all the growth coefficients. The present results support the hypothesis of differential growth patterns for primary functions during early ontogeny.


allometric growth; larval development; spotted sand bass; Paralabrax maculatofasciatus

Full Text:



Alvarez-González, C.A. – 2003. Actividad enzimática digestiva y evaluación de dietas para el destete de larvas de la cabrilla arenera Paralabrax maculatofasciatus (Percoidei: Serranidae). Ph. D. thesis. Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas. Mexico.

Alvarez-González, C. A., J.L. Ortíz-Galindo, S. Dumas, S. Martínez-Díaz, D.E. Hernández-Ceballos, T. Grayeb-Del Alamo, M. Moreno-Legorreta, R. Peña and R. Civera-Cerecedo. – 2001. Effect of stocking density on the growth and survival of spotted sand bass Paralabrax maculatofasciatus larvae in a closed recirculating system. J. World Aquacult. Soc., 32: 130-137. doi:10.1111/j.1749-7345.2001.tb00932.x

Bailey, K. and E.D. Houde. – 1989. Predation on eggs and larvae of marine fish and the recruitment problem. Adv. Mar. Biol., 25: 1-83. doi:10.1016/S0065-2881(08)60187-X

Brown, A.L., M.S. Busby, K.L. Mier. – 2001. Walleye Pollock Theragra chalcogramma during transformation from the larval to juvenile stage: otolith and osteological development. Mar. Biol., 139: 845-851. doi:10.1007/s002270100641

Butler, J.L., H.D. Moser, G.S. Hageman and L.E. Nordgren. – 1982. Developmental stages of three California sea basses (Paralabrax, Pisces, Serranidae). CalCOFI Rep., 23: 252-268.

Cunha, I. and M. Planas. – 1999. Optimal prey size for early turbot larvae (Scophthalmus maximus L.) based on mouth and ingested prey size. Aquaculture, 175: 103-110. doi:10.1016/S0044-8486(99)00040-X

Fuiman, L.A. – 1983. Growth gradients in fish larvae. J. Fish Biol., 23: 117-123. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1983.tb02886.x

Gisbert, E. – 1999. Early development and allometric growth patterns in Siberian sturgeon and their ecological significance. J. Fish Biol., 54: 852-862. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1999.tb02037.x

Gisbert, E., G. Merino, J.B. Muguet, D. Bush, R.H. Piedrahita and D.E. Conklin. – 2002. Morphological development and allometric growth patterns in hatchery-reared California halibut larvae. J. Fish Biol., 61: 1217-1229. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2002.tb02466.x

Johnston, I.A. and T.E. Hall. – 2004. Mechanisms of muscle development and responses to temperature change in fish larvae. In: J.J. Govoni (ed.), The Development of Form and Function in Fishes and the Question of Larval Adaptation, pp. 85-116. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 40, Bethesda, Maryland.

Kendall, A.W., E.H. Ahlstrom and H.G. Moser. – 1984. Early life history stages of fishes and their characters. In: Moser, H.G., Richards, W.J., Cohen, D.M., Fahay, M.P., Kendall, A.W., Richardson, S.L. (eds.). Ontogeny and systematics of fishes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Special Publication No. 1, pp. 11-22. Allen Press Inc, Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A.

Koumoundouros, G., P. Divanach and M. Kentouri. – 1999. Ontogeny and allometric plasticity of Dentex dentex (Osteichthyes: Sparidae) in rearing conditions. Mar. Biol., 135: 561-572. doi:10.1007/s002270050657

Ortíz-Galindo, J.L., R. Peña, L. Perezgomez-Alvarez and J.L. Castro-Aguirre. – 2000. Desarrollo osteológico de la cabrilla arenera Paralabrax maculatofasciatus (Steindachner, 1868) (Percoidei: Serranidae). Mem. VII Congr. Nac. Ictiología. México, D.F.

Osse, J.W. and J.G.M. van den Boogaart. – 1995. Fish larvae, development, allometric growth, and the aquatic environment. Int. Council Exp. Sea. Mar. Sci. Symp., 201: 21-34.

Osse, J.W. and J.G.M. van den Boogaart. – 2004. Allometric growth in Fish Larvae: Timing and Function. In: J.J. Govoni (ed.), The Development of Form and Function in Fishes and the Question of Larval Adaptation, pp. 167-194. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 40, Bethesda, Maryland.

Osse, J.W., J.G.M. van den Boogaart, G.M.J. van Snik and L. van der Sluys. – 1997. Priorities during early growth of fish larvae. Aquaculture, 155: 249-258. doi:10.1016/S0044-8486(97)00126-9

Peña, R. and S. Dumas. – 2005. Effect of delayed first feeding on development and feeding ability of Paralabrax maculatofasciatus larvae. J. Fish Biol., 67: 640-561. doi:10.1111/j.0022-1112.2005.00765.x

Peña, R., S. Dumas, Ortíz-Galindo, J.L. and Villalejo-Fuerte, M. –2003. Ontogenetic development of the digestive tract in reared spotted sand bass Paralabrax maculatofasciatus larvae. Aquaculture, 219: 633-644. doi:10.1016/S0044-8486(02)00352-6

Peña, R., S. Dumas and C. Rodríguez-Jaramillo. – 2009. Development and distribution of intestinal enzymatic activity in Paralabrax maculatofasciatus (Steindachner, 1868) larvae fed live prey. Aquacult. Res. 40: 218-224. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2109.2008.02085.x

Rosales-Velázquez, M.O. – 1997. Efecto de la alimentación sobre los desoves de la cabrilla arenera Paralabrax maculatofasciatus (Teleostei: Serranidae) mantenida en cautiverio. Tesis de Maestría. Centro Interdisciplianrio de Ciencias Marinas - Instituto Politécnico Nacional, La Paz, B.C.S. México.

van Snik, G.M.J., J.G.M. van den Boogaart and J.W.M. Osse. –1997. Larval growth patterns in Cyprinus carpio and Clarias gariepinus with attention to the fanfold. J. Fish Biol., 50: 1339-1352. doi:10.1006/jfbi.1997.0402

Copyright (c) 2009 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Contact us

Technical support