Scientia Marina, Vol 65, No 2 (2001)

Aspects of the reproductive biology of the toadfish, Halobatrachus didactylus (Schneider, 1801) (Pisces: Batrachoididae)


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2001.65n2131

José L. Palazón-Fernández
Universidad de Oriente, Escuela de Ciencias Aplicadas del Mar - Instituto de Ciencias Marinas de Andalucía (CSIC), Spain

Alberto M. Arias
Instituto de Ciencias Marinas de Andalucía (CSIC), Spain

Carmen Sarasquete
Instituto de Ciencias Marinas de Andalucía (CSIC), Spain

Abstract


The biology of Halobatrachus didactylus has received special attention during recent years because of its use as an experimental species in toxicology and cardiology experiments. The object of the present work is to supply basic information about the reproductive biology of this species. Samples were collected in Cádiz Bay between February 1999 and March 2000. A total of 901 specimens (440 females and 461 males) were examined. Sex ratio did not differ from the theoretical 1:1, except in May 1999, and February 2000. Minimum size at maturity was 191 mm total length for females and 160 mm total length for males. Approximately 50 % of the population matured at 262 mm for females and 302 mm for males. The spawning season extends from March to August, with a peak in May-June. Fecundity ranged from 227 to 1233 eggs/female, and was related to body length and weight. Length-weight relationship for the sexes differed, and showed positive allometry. The condition factor showed a minimum in the spawning season, which is interpreted as the result of mobilization of somatic energy reserves needed for reproductive development, and/or the use of reserves stored in the body as a source of energy in spawned fish, influenced by reduced feeding during this period.

Keywords


reproduction; toadfish; Halobatrachus didactylus; Batrachoididae; Bay of Cádiz

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