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The larvae of five species of myctophid fishes; Benthosema suborbitale (Gilbert, 1913), Ceratoscopelus townsendi (Eigenmann and Eigenmann, 1889), Hygophum taaningi Becker, 1965, Myctophum selenops Tåning, 1928, and Notolychnus valdiviae (Brauer,
1904) from the eastern Gulf of Mexico were examined to measure early growth in length and weight. Age was determined from examination of sagittal otoliths. Larval period ranged from 31 d for the rapidly growing C. townsendi to 60 d for the diminutive N. valdiviae. Growth rate
ranged from 0.1 mm SL d–1 for N. valdiviae to 0.4 mm SL d–1 for C. townsendi. Increases in weight were variable and related to larval morphology. The most rapid increases in weight with length were observed for the stout larvae of M. selenops,
whereas the slender larvae of C. townsendi and N. valdiviae increased more gradually. The growth rate and age at transformation were highly variable among the five species, but within the range displayed by other nearshore tropical-subtropical species from the Gulf of Mexico.
Variations in growth appear to be related to species-specific variations in life history traits and larval morphology. These are the first data reported on the growth of larval myctophids from the Atlantic.
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