Scientia Marina, Vol 79, No 3 (2015)

Age and growth of Spondyliosoma cantharus (Sparidae) in the Gulf of Tunis

Nejla Mouine-Oueslati
Université de Tunis El Manar, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, UR11ES12 Biologie de la Reproduction et du Développement animal, Tunisia

Romdhani Ahlem
Université de Tunis El Manar, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, UR11ES12 Biologie de la Reproduction et du Développement animal, Tunisia

Chater Ines
Université de Tunis El Manar, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, UR11ES12 Biologie de la Reproduction et du Développement animal, Tunisia

Mohamed-Hédi Ktari
Université de Tunis El Manar, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, UR11ES12 Biologie de la Reproduction et du Développement animal, Tunisia

Nadia Chakroun-Marzouk
Université de Tunis El Manar, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, UR11ES12 Biologie de la Reproduction et du Développement animal, Tunisia


Age and the growth of the black seabream Spondyliosoma cantharus (Linnaeus, 1758) from the Gulf of Tunis were investigated using scales and otoliths. The length-weight relationship showed that the growth rates were isometric for females whereas males and the whole sample present a positive allometry. The monthly evolution in marginal increment data of scales and otoliths revealed that only one annulus is formed per year in April. Fish length and radii of the scales or otoliths were closely correlated. The von Bertalanffy growth equation was fitted on mean back-calculated length-at-age data, resulting in the parameter values L=35.4 cm, k=0.15 y–1 and t0=–0.19 y for scales and L=38.6 cm, k=0.10 y–1 and t0=–0.14 y for otoliths. Parameters estimated from scale and otoliths were significantly similar. However, taking into consideration the lower standard deviations of means for estimates based on otolith readings and the higher variance explained by the regression line fitted to otoliths, the latter seem to be more appropriate for ageing S. cantharus. The maximum age of the black seabream of the Gulf of Tunis is 10 years. Large discrepancies in growth parameters between geographic areas are the result of different growth patterns.


Spondyliosoma cantharus; growth ; scales; otoliths; length-weight relationship; Gulf of Tunis

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