Scientia Marina, Vol 75, No 2 (2011)

Reproductive characteristics of the bathyal viviparous fish Cataetyx alleni (Osteichthyes: Bythitidae) from the southeastern Sardinian Sea (central-western Mediterranean) MARIA


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2011.75n2391

Maria Cristina Follesa
Department of Animal Biology and Ecology, University of Cagliari, Italy

Cristina Porcu
Department of Animal Biology and Ecology, University of Cagliari, Italy

Antonello Mulas
Department of Animal Biology and Ecology, University of Cagliari, Italy

Susanna Salvador
Department of Animal Biology and Ecology, University of Cagliari, Italy

Angelo Cau
Department of Animal Biology and Ecology, University of Cagliari, Italy

Abstract


The reproductive biology of the bathyal viviparous fish Cataetyx alleni was described based on 34 specimens (17 females and 17 males) caught during experimental trawl surveys carried out between 800 and 1700 m depth in the southeastern Sardinian Sea (central-western Mediterranean). Males and females were present at similar size intervals. For the first time, the internal fertilization was demonstrated by the finding of free spermatozoa scattered in the ovarian cavity. Based on macroscopic and histological gonad analysis, mature females were found in summer, autumn and winter, suggesting a long reproductive period. Inseminated females were observed only in November and January, in correspondence with the higher maturity of the males. These results suggest a probable reproductive peak with copulation in autumn-winter. Moreover, histological examination demonstrated that the ovaries of this member of the family Bythitidae had a ‘group-synchronous’ pattern. No spermatophores in males and embryos in females were observed in the histological sections analysed.

Keywords


Cataetyx alleni; reproduction; internal fertilization; Sardinian Sea

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