Effect of individual and group rearing on age and size at maturity of male mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis


*Current address and address for correspondence: Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, University of Florida, 7922 N.W. 71st Street, Gainesville, FL 32606, U.S.A.


Age and size at sexual maturity were significantly greater for male mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis Baird and Girard, reared in sib-groups than for their sibs reared individually. Age at sexual maturity averaged 43.3 and 62.1 days for individually- and group-reared males, respectively, a 43% difference; final length and weight at maturity were 7.7 and 34.2% greater, respectively, for group-reared males than for their individually-reared sibs. The results were consistent among 30 families that represented the progeny of 30 wild-caught females. The observed differences may be attributable to behavioural interactions affecting the neuroendocrine control of the maturation process, as suggested by previous studies of Xiphophorus.