Variability in oocyte size and batch fecundity in anchoveta (Engraulis ringens, Jenyns 1842) from two spawning areas off the Chilean coast


  • Elson M. Leal Laboratorio de Oceanografía Pesquera y Ecología Larval (LOPEL), Departamento de Oceanografía, Universidad de Concepción
  • Leonardo R. Castro Laboratorio de Oceanografía Pesquera y Ecología Larval (LOPEL), Departamento de Oceanografía, Universidad de Concepción
  • Gabriel Claramunt Departamento de Ciencias del Mar, Universidad Arturo Prat, Iquique



oocyte size, inter-population variations, Humboldt Current, small pelagic, egg size, latitudinal variations


Utilising histological preparations of ovaries from Engraulis ringens females collected in two contrasting spawning habitats along the Chilean coast, we assess the variability in oocyte size and batch fecundity during the peak spawning seasons in three years. The effects of female size (length and weight), batch fecundity and mean sea surface temperature on oocyte size were also examined. Results showed larger oocytes and lower batch fecundity in females from the southern area. Oocyte volume differences persisted inter-annually and were not explained by differences in female sizes. Since ovary weight was similar between areas, the cost of producing larger oocytes in the south population seems to be a fecundity reduction. The latitudinal variations in oocyte number and size seem to be determined by the predominant environmental conditions in each habitat. Hence, female E. ringens seem to adapt their reproductive tactics by producing eggs sizes and quantities that favour survival of their offspring under the environmental conditions in which they are to develop.


Download data is not yet available.


Ayon, P. – 2000. El método de producción diaria de huevos en la estimación de la biomasa desovante del stock norte-centro de la anchoveta peruana. Bol. Inst. Mar Peru, 19(1-2): 7-14

Bagenal, T.B. – 1971. The interrelation of the size of fish eggs, date of spawning and the production cycle. J. Fish Biol., 3: 207-219. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1971.tb03665.x

Beacham, T. and C. Murray. – 1993. Fecundity and egg size variation in north American Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus). J. Fish Biol., 42: 485-508. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1993.tb00354.x

Brooks, S., C. Tyler and J. Sumpter. – 1997. Egg quality in fish: what makes a good egg?. Rev. Fish Biol. and Fisheries, 7: 387-416. doi:10.1023/A:1018400130692

Castro, L., A. Llanos, J. Blanco, E. Tarifeño, R. Escribano, and M. Landaeta. 2002. Latitudinal variations in spawning habitat characteristics: Influence on the early life history traits of the anchoveta, Engraulis ringens, off northern and central Chile. GLOBEC Report 16: 42-45.

Chambers, R.C. – 1997.Environmental influences on egg and propagule sizes in marine fishes. In: R. C. Chambers and E. A. Trippel (eds.), Early life history and recruitment in fish populations, pp. 63-102. Chapman & Hall, London.

Claramunt, G., G. Herrera and P. Pizarro. – 1994. Producción potencial anual de huevos por tallas en Sardinops sagax (Jenyns, 1842) del norte de Chile. Rev. Biol. Mar., 29(2):211-233.

De Ciechomski, J.D. – 1973. The size of the egg of the Argentine anchovy, Engraulis anchoita (Hubbs and Marini) in relation to the season of the year and to the area of spawning. J. Fish Biol., 5:393-398. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1973.tb04467.x

Duponchelle, F., Ph. Cecchi, D. Corbin, J. Nuñez and M. Legendre. – 2000. Variations in fecundity and egg size of female Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, from man-made lakes of Côte d’Ivoire. Env. Biol. Fish., 57: 155-170. doi:10.1023/A:1007575624937

Ferrada, S., K. Hernández, R. Montoya and R. Galleguillos. – 2002. Estudio Poblacional del recurso anchoveta (Engraulis ringens Jenyns 1842) (Clupeiforme, Engraulidae), mediante análisis de ADN. Gayana Zool., 66(2): 243-248.

Fleming, I. and M. Gross. – 1990. Latitudinal clines: a trade-off between egg number and size in pacific salmon. Ecology, 71(1): 1-11. doi:10.2307/1940241

Funamoto, T. and I. Aoki. – 2002. Reproductive ecology of Japanese anchovy off the pacific coast of eastern Hounshu, Japan. J. Fish Biol., 60: 154-169. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2002.tb02395.x

Hay, D. and J. Brett. – 1988. Maturation and fecundity of Pacific herring (Clupea harengus pallasi): an experimental study with comparisons to natural populations. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 45(1): 399-406. doi:10.1139/f88-048

Hunter, J. and B. Macewicz. – 1985. Rates of atresia in the ovary of captive and wild northern anchovy, Engraulis mordax. Fish. Bull., 83: 119-136.

Johnston, T. and W. Leggett. – 2002. Maternal and environmental gradients in the egg size and iteroparous fish. Ecology, 83(7): 1777-1791.

Jonsson, N. and B. Jonsson. – 1999. Trade-off between egg mass and egg number in brown trout. J. Fish Biol., 55: 767-783. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1999.tb00716.x

Kokita, T. – 2003. Potential latitudinal variation in egg size and number of a geographically widespread reef fish, revealed by common-environment experiments. Mar. Biol., 143: 593-601. doi:10.1007/s00227-003-1104-x

Laine, P. and M. Rajasilta. – 1999. The hatching success of Baltic herring eggs and its relation to female condition. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 237: 61-73. doi:10.1016/S0022-0981(98)00213-5

Llanos-Rivera, A. and L.R. Castro. – 2004. Latitudinal and seasonal egg-size variation of the anchoveta (Engraulis ringens) off the Chilean coast. Fish. Bull., 102: 207-212.

Llanos-Rivera, A. and L.R. Castro. – 2006. Inter-population differences in temperature effects on Engraulis ringens yolk-sac larvae. Mar. Ecol Prog. Ser., 312: 245-253. doi:10.3354/meps312245

Maruyama, A., B. Rusuwa and M. Yuma. – 2003. Interpopulational egg-size variation of a landlocked Rhinogobius goby related to the risk of larval starvation. Env. Biol. Fish., 67: 223-230. doi:10.1023/A:1025870628640

Ojanguren, A., F. Reyes-Gavilán and F. Braña. – 1996. Effects of egg size on offspring development and fitness in brown trout, Salmo trutta L. Aquaculture, 147: 9-20. doi:10.1016/S0044-8486(96)01398-1

Power, M., J. Dempson, J. Reist, J. Schwarz and G. Power. – 2005. Latitudinal variation in fecundity among Arctic charr populations in eastern North America. J. Fish. Biol., 67: 255-273. doi:10.1111/j.0022-1112.2005.00734.x

Tanasichuk, R. and D. Ware. – 1987. Influence of interannual variations in winter sea temperature on fecundity and egg size in Pacific herring (Clupea herengus pallasi). Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 44: 1485-1495. doi:10.1139/f87-178

Tarifeño, E., M. Carmona, A. Llanos-Rivera and L. Castro. – 2008. Temperature effects on anchoveta Engraulis ringens egg development: to latitudinal differences occur? Environ. Biol. Fish., 81(4): 387-395. doi:10.1007/s10641-007-9208-7

Tascheri, R.O. and G. Claramunt. – 1996. Aproximación a los cambios intra-anuales en el contenido de energía del ovario de sardina (Sardinops sagax Jenyns, 1842) en el norte de Chile. Invest. Mar., 24: 51-66.

Valdivia, I., R. Chanchez and M. Oliva. – 2007. Metazoan parasites of Engraulis ringens as tools for stock discrimination along the Chilean coast. J. Fish. Biol., 70: 1504-1511.

West, G. – 1990. Methods of assessing ovarian development in Fishes: a review. Aust. J. Mar. Fresh. Res., 41, 199-22. doi:10.1071/MF9900199

Wootton, R.J. – 1994. Life histories as sampling devices: optimum egg size in pelagic fishes. J. Fish. Biol., 45: 1067-1077.

Zar, J. – 1984. Biostatistical Analysis. Prentice Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.




How to Cite

Leal EM, Castro LR, Claramunt G. Variability in oocyte size and batch fecundity in anchoveta (Engraulis ringens, Jenyns 1842) from two spawning areas off the Chilean coast. Sci. mar. [Internet]. 2009Mar.30 [cited 2024Apr.20];73(1):59-66. Available from: