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The silvering process of Anguilla anguilla: a new classification from the yellow resident to the silver migrating stage

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The identification of five stages for female and two stages for male eels Anguilla anguilla using multivariate analysis was carried out on a large sample of individuals collected at six different locations in France. Stages corresponded to a growth phase (stages I and II), a pre‐migrant phase (III) and two migrating phases (IV and V). It is likely that an important period of growth triggered silvering through the production of growth hormone (GH) in stage III eels. In migrating eels gonad development, gonadotropin hormone (GTH‐II) production and increase of eye surface were similar at all sites. Differences among locations were found in gut regression and pectoral fin length. As variability for these increased with the size of the watershed and values were highest for the most downstream locations, fin length and gut regression may indicate the time since an eel started its migration.

Keywords: Anguilla; biometry; gonadotropin; growth hormone; silvering

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Unité Ressources Aquatiques Continentales, Cemagref, 50 avenue de Verdun, 33612 Cestas, France and 2: Biologie des Organismes Marins et Ecosystèmes, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle U.M.R. 5178 CNRS, 7 rue Cuvier, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France

Publication date: 2005-04-01

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