• age and growth;
  • Barbatula quignardi;
  • fluctuating streams;
  • Iberian Peninsula;
  • reproduction

The life-history tactics of the stone loach Barbatula barbatula were studied in a Mediterranean-type climate stream (Matarranya River) located in the Ebro River basin (north-east Spain). Maximum observed ages were 2+ years in both sexes (1% of individuals), although only 0+ and 1+ year age groups were well represented. It is the lowest longevity reported for this species in its entire distribution. The seasonal growth period started in June and continued until November, but the pattern observed was different to northern populations. Barbatula barbatula in the Matarranya River was a multiple spawner, releasing small batches of oocytes between April and June. The fecundity of females was higher and the size of oocytes smaller in 1984 than in 1985. The relative fecundity (number of ripening and ripe oocytes g−1 of fish) was lower than in northern European populations. The role of the particular environmental conditions of a Mediterranean stream was discussed in relation to the life-history tactics of B. barbatula.