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Clues to the location of the spawning area and larval migration characteristics of Anguilla mossambica as inferred from otolith microstructural analyses

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Abstract:

The spawning area location and the larval migration characteristics of Anguilla mossambica were studied through the examination of early life-history traits (ELHT) inferred from otolith microstructural analyses of 122 glass A. mossambica collected along the eastern coast of Madagascar, in the south-western Indian Ocean. Backcalculated hatching dates of leptocephali that recruited between November 2005 and February 2006 suggested that spawning was continuous from June to November 2005, although individual migration duration periods were variable. Larvae that exhibited the highest daily otolith growth rates had the shortest leptocephalus durations and total length (LT) at recruitment, possibly because they reached the competence to metamorphose more rapidly and to recruit to fresh waters. Migration durations and LT increased from north to south on the Malagasy eastern coast, supporting earlier suggestions that A. mossambica spawns north-east of Madagascar, west of the Mascarene Ridge in the Indian Ocean.

Keywords: Madagascar; Mozambican eel; early-life history traits; south-western Indian ocean

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2009.02285.x

Affiliations: 1: Biologie des Organismes et Ecosystèmes Marins (BOREA) UMR 5178 CNRS-MNHN-UPMC-IRD, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Ichtyologie CP 026, 43 rue Cuvier, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France 2: Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marines (IH.SM) B.P. 141, Route du Port, Toliara 601, Madagascar 3: Association Réunionnaise de Développement de l’Aquaculture (ARDA), Centre des Eaux Douces, Les Sables, B.P.16, 97427 Etang-Salé, Ile de La Réunion, France 4: Biologie des Organismes et Ecosystèmes Marins (BOREA) UMR 5178 BOME CNRS-MNHN-UPMC-IRD, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, CRESCO, 38 rue du Port Blanc, 35800 Dinard, France

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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