Scientia Marina, Vol 74, No 3 (2010)

Relationships between otolith size and fish size in some mesopelagic and bathypelagic species from the Mediterranean Sea (Strait of Messina, Italy)

Pietro Battaglia
ISPRA (Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), Laboratory of Milazzo, Italy

Danilo Malara
ISPRA (Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), Laboratory of Milazzo, Italy

Teresa Romeo
ISPRA (Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), Laboratory of Milazzo, Italy

Franco Andaloro
ISPRA, Palermo, c/o Residence Marbela, Italy


The length-weight relationships and the regressions between otolith size (length and width) and fish length of some mesopelagic and bathypelagic fishes living in the central Mediterranean Sea were provided. Images and morphological description of otoliths (sagittae) from 16 species belonging to the families of Gonostomatidae (1), Microstomatidae (2), Myctophidae (8), Phosichthyidae (2), Sternoptychidae (2) and Stomiidae (1) were given. The length-weight relationship showed an isometric growth in 13 species. No differences between right and left otolith sizes were detected by t-test, so a single linear regression was plotted against standard length (SL) for otolith length (OL) and otolith width (OW). Data fitted well to the regression model for both OL and OW to SL, for each species (R2 > 0.8). These relationships offer a helpful tool in feeding studies and also provide support to palaeontologists in their research on fish fossils.


mesopelagic fishes; bathypelagic fishes; otolith; fish-otolith sizes; length-weight relationship; Mediterranean Sea

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