Comparisons of age, growth, and maturity between male and female, and diploid and triploid individuals in Carassius auratus from Okinawa-jima Island, Japan
- 1.Carassius auratus, a primary freshwater fish with bisexual diploid and unisexual gynogenetic triploid lineages, is distributed widely in and around the Eurasian continent and is especially common in East Asia. East Asian C. auratus diverged genetically to form local endemic populations in different regions, and those distributed in the Ryukyu Archipelago form a local endemic population that can be regarded as an evolutionarily significant unit because of its high phylogenetic independence and evolutionary distinctiveness. Although the evolutionary uniqueness of this population should be conserved, its distribution area and population size are decreasing rapidly, and some island populations are currently considered endangered or already extinct.
- 2.To develop effective conservation measures to stop the current decline of Ryukyuan C. auratus, ecological data need to be collected. In this study, life history data for a C. auratus population distributed in the Hiji River system were collected by estimating age, growth, and spawning season.
- 3.The spawning season of C. auratus in the Hiji River extended from March to September, peaking during March–May. Females became sexually mature in their second year, but males reached maturity and were able to spawn as early as in the late spawning season of their year of hatching. Once having reached sexual maturity, males probably continuously stay ripe throughout their life.
- 4.Sagittal otoliths of C. auratus proved to be useful ageing structures because one annual increment is formed on the sagittal otolith before the spawning season in each year. The oldest fish observed were a 10-year-old female and an 11-year-old male. Females showed faster somatic growth and higher final standard length than males, and a sexual size dimorphism was observed.
- 5.The standard length at each age class did not differ between diploid and triploid C. auratus, suggesting that triploid growth rates were almost equal to those of diploids. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.