Reproductive biology of the squirrelfish, Holocentrus adscensionis (Osbeck, 1765), caught off the coast of Pernambuco, Brazil


  • Renata A. Shinozaki-Mendes Laboratório de Oceanografia Pesqueira, Departamento de Pesca e Aqüicultura
  • Fabio Hissa Vieira Hazin Laboratório de Oceanografia Pesqueira, Departamento de Pesca e Aqüicultura
  • Paulo Guilherme de Oliveira Universidade Estadual da Bahia
  • Felipe Correia de Carvalho Laboratório de Oceanografia Pesqueira, Departamento de Pesca e Aqüicultura



squirrelfish, Holocentrus adscensionis, reproduction, maturity, teleostei


In the present work, specimens of Holocentrus adscensionis, caught off Pernambuco State, northeast Brazil, by small scale artisanal fishing boats, were analyzed with regard to gonad maturation, gonad index, size at first sexual maturity, fecundity, type and time of spawning. Two hundred and three specimens were randomly collected, 102 males and 101 females, resulting in a sex ratio very close to 1:1. Size at first sexual maturity was estimated at 14.6 cm fork length, which is smaller than the most caught size class. Females in final maturation were only recorded from October to March, while the proportion of resting females was the highest in June and July. The seasonal variation of sexual stages, together with the variation of the monthly mean gonad index, with the lowest values for females being recorded from May to July, suggests lower sexual activity for this species during this period of the year, which coincides with winter time. The pattern of ovarian development indicates that spawning is synchronous, with oocytes ripening in more than two groups. It is therefore characterized as a batch spawning. Absolute fecundity ranged from 56274 to 249863 oocytes.


Download data is not yet available.


Aguilar, E.T.A. and Z.G.C. Malpica. – 1993. Biologia Pesqueira. 1ª edição. Editora Libertad, Trujilo.

Bagenal, T.B. and E. Braum. – 1978. Eggs and early life history. In: T.B. Bagenal (ed.), Methods for the assessment of fish production in freshwaters, pp. 165-201. Blackwell Scientific Publications, London.

Beets, J. – 1997. Effects of a predatory fish on the recruitment and abundance of Caribbean coral reef fishes. Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser., 148: 11-21. doi:10.3354/meps148011

Ben-Tuvia, A. - 1990. Holocentridae. In: J.C. Quéro, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.), Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA), Vol. 2: pp. 627- 628. JNICT, Lisbon; SEI and UNESCO, Paris.

Bohnsack, J.A. and D.E. Harper. – 1988. Length-weight relationships of selected marine reef fishes from the southeastern United States and the Caribbean. NOAA Tech. Mem. NMFSSEFC- 215.

Carlson, B.A. and A.H. Bass. – 2000. Sonic/Vocal Motor Pathways in Squirrelfish (Teleostei, Holocentridae). Brain Behav. Evol., 56: 14-28. doi:10.1159/000006674

Carvalho-Filho, A. – 1999. Peixes: costa brasileira. Ed. Melro, São Paulo.

Danilowicz, B.S. – 1995. The role of temperature in spawning of the damselfish Dascyllus albisella. Bull. Mar. Sci., 57: 624-636.

Delahunty, G. and V. deVlaming. – 1980. Seasonal relationships of ovary weight, liver weight and fat stores with body weight in the goldfish (Carassius auratus L.). J. Fish Biol., 16: 5-13. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1980.tb03683.x

Galzin, R. – 1987. Potential fisheries yield of a Moorea fringing reef (French Polynesia) by the analysis of three dominant fishes. Atoll Res. Bull., 305: 1-22.

García, C.B., L.O. Duarte, N. Sandoval, D. Von Schiller, G. Melo and P. Navajas. – 1998. Length-weight relationships of demersal fishes form the Gulf of Salamanca, Colombia. Fishbyte, 21: 30-32.

Greenfield, D.W. – 1981. Holocentridae. In: W. Fischer, G. Bianchi and W.B. Scott (eds.) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Eastern Central Atlantic; fishing areas Vol. 2: 34, 47 (in part). Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and FAO.

Golani, D. and A. Ben-Tuvia. – 1985. The biology of the Indo-Pacific squirrelfish, Sargocentron rubrum (Forsskål), a Suez 249-258.

Johns, G.D. and L.E. Miranda. – 1997. Ovarian weight as an index of fecundity, maturity, and spawning periodicity. J. Fish Biol., 50: 150-156. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1997.tb01347.x

Marza, V.D. – 1938. Histophysiologie de l’Ovogenèse. Herman et Cie, Paris.

Mendes, P.P. – 1999. Estatística aplicada à Aqüicultura. Ed. Bargaço, Recife-PE.

Munro, J.L., V.C. Gaut, R. Thompson and P.H. Reeson. – 1973. The spawning season of Caribbean reef fishes. J. Fish Biol., 5: 69-84. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1973.tb04431.x

Murphy, M.D. and R.G. Taylor. – 1989. Reproduction and growth of black drum, Pogonias cromis, in northeast Florida. Northeast Gulf Sci., 10: 127-137.

Nomura, H. – 1965. Length-weight tables of some fish species from Northeastern Brazil. Arq. Est. Biol. Mar. Univ. Fed. Ceará, 5(2): 103-105.

Ricker, W.E. – 1975. Computation and interpretation of biological statistics of fish populations. Bull. Fish. Res. Board Can., 191: 1- 382.

Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray. – 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A.

Santos, E.P. – 1978. Dinâmica de populações aplicada a pesca e piscicultura. Editora de Humanismo, Ciência e tecnología "HUCITEC" LTDA. Editora da Universidade de São Paulo.

Schaeffer, M.B. and C.J. Orange. – 1956. Studies of the sexual development and spawning of yellowfin tuna (Neothunnus macropterus) and skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) in the three areas of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, by examination of gonads. Inter-Am. Trop. Tuna Com. Bull., 1(6): 281-302.

Thresher, R.E. – 1984. Reproduction in reef fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Ltd., Neptune City, New Jersey.

Vazzoler, A.E.A. de M. – 1996. Biologia da reproduççãão de peixes teleóósteos: teoria e pratica. EDUEM, Maringa.

Woods, L.P. and D.W. Greenfield. – 1978. Holocentridae. In: W. Fischer (ed.) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Central Atlantic (Fishing Area 31). Vol. 3. FAO, Rome.

Wu, CC., W.C. Su and T. Kawasaki. – 2001. Reproductive biology of the dolphin fish Coriphaena hippurus on the east coast of Taiwan. Fish. Sci. Japan, 67: 784-793. doi:10.1046/j.1444-2906.2001.00324.x

Wyatt, J.R. - 1983. The biology, ecology and bionomics of the squirrelfishes, Holocentridae. In: J.L. Munro (ed.) Caribbean coral reef fishery resources, pp. 50-58. ICLARM Stud. Rev. 7




How to Cite

Shinozaki-Mendes RA, Vieira Hazin FH, de Oliveira PG, Correia de Carvalho F. Reproductive biology of the squirrelfish, Holocentrus adscensionis (Osbeck, 1765), caught off the coast of Pernambuco, Brazil. scimar [Internet]. 2007Dec.31 [cited 2022Nov.30];71(4):715-22. Available from: