Reproductive Biology and Feeding Habits of Cuyamel, Joturus Pichardi and Tepemechín, Agonostomus Monticola (Pisces; Mugilidae) from Rio Plátano, Mosquitia, Honduras
These mugilids spend most of their lives in the upper reaches of rivers, which are characterized by strong currents, river beds of large granitic type rocks and crystal clear waters. Specimens of Joturus pichardi (85) and Agonostomus monticola (435) were collected in the Rio Plátano, analyzed for length-weight relationship, stomach contents, reproductive condition and habitat partitioning. Indirect evidence is presented to support a reproductive migration of J. pichardi from the upper part of the river during the months of higher rainfall (October, November, December) using the highest water level of the rainy season to go out to the sea-river transition zone to spawn and then return immediately to the river. In A. monticola, no conclusive evidence was found of a similar reproductive migration, even though January seems to be the month for the prejuveniles to enter and run up the river to medium sized tributaries. Prejuveniles of J. pichardi less than 59 mm SL were not collected or observed in the rivermouth or in the tributaries. I believe that they move up in small numbers in the middle of the river rather than along the shores to the upper tributaries where the current is strong and the bottom has large rocks. Males and females of both species reach similar size and weight; however, the largest specimens collected were females. Stomach content analysis revealed different feeding preferences. The diet of J. pichardi is mainly herbaceous and that of A. monticola mainly carnivorous. The prejuveniles of J. pichardi are easily distinguished by black bars on the second dorsal, caudal and anal fins, which are lacking in the pre-juveniles of A. monticola. The eggs of J. pichardi are pelagic; those of A. monticola have not been observed.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1987-01-01
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