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


  • Maria Cristina Follesa Department of Animal Biology and Ecology, University of Cagliari
  • Cristina Porcu Department of Animal Biology and Ecology, University of Cagliari
  • Antonello Mulas Department of Animal Biology and Ecology, University of Cagliari
  • Susanna Salvador Department of Animal Biology and Ecology, University of Cagliari
  • Angelo Cau Department of Animal Biology and Ecology, University of Cagliari



Cataetyx alleni, reproduction, internal fertilization, Sardinian Sea


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.


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How to Cite

Follesa MC, Porcu C, Mulas A, Salvador S, Cau A. Reproductive characteristics of the bathyal viviparous fish Cataetyx alleni (Osteichthyes: Bythitidae) from the southeastern Sardinian Sea (central-western Mediterranean) MARIA. Sci. mar. [Internet]. 2011Jun.30 [cited 2024May26];75(2):391-7. Available from:




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