Validation of annulus formation in sagittal otoliths of three tropical cichlids Oreochromis andersonii (Castelnau, 1861), Oreochromis macrochir (Boulenger, 1912), and Coptodon rendalli (Boulenger, 1896)

Publication Year:

The periodicity of growth zone formation in sagittal otoliths of Oreochromis andersonii, Oreochromis macrochir and Coptodon rendalli from the Upper Zambezi region, southern Africa, was validated to test the hypothesis that a single growth zone is deposited annually. Edge analysis was carried out on 754 O. andersonii (54-492 mm TL), 601 O. macrochir (83-438 mm TL) and 622 C. rendalli (45-379 mm TL) caught between August 2010 and August 2011 in Lake Liambezi and the Kavango, Kwando and Upper Zambezi rivers. This was corroborated for O. andersonii (n = 17) and C. rendalli (n = 16) using a fluorochrome marking experiment conducted in a large earthen pond (625 m2, 1.5 m deep) adjacent to the Kavango River. Both methods demonstrated that growth zone deposition occurred annually in juvenile and adult fishes. For edge analysis, the highest proportion of otoliths with an opaque margin was observed in summer from October to December. The fluorochrome marking experiment, however, revealed that opaque zone deposition took place in winter between June and September when water temperatures were lowest (17°C), indicating a lag between opaque zone deposition and detection on the otolith edge.

Publication Title:

Journal of Applied Ichthyology

doi: 10.1111/jai.13110
Item Type:
Journal Article

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