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Keywords:

  • cobia;
  • fish egg;
  • egg quality;
  • egg biochemical composition;
  • spawning

Abstract

Twenty egg batches spawned naturally from 17 different females over two spawning seasons were used to evaluate the egg quality of cobia Rachycentron canadum. A reduction in egg size was observed towards the end of the spawning season for both years. The proportion of floating eggs demonstrated a positive linear relationship with both yolk-sac larval survival (r2=0.91, P<0.05) and batch larval production (r2=0.80, P<0.01). Viable egg batches (i.e. fertilization success >50%) were of higher batch fecundity, had larger eggs and a higher proportion of floating eggs than non-viable batches (i.e. 0% fertilization success). Also, biochemical analyses revealed that these viable eggs had significantly higher protein and amino acid contents. A multiple regression model based on the proportion of floating eggs, batch fecundity and fertilization success provided the most accurate predictions of batch larval production (r2=0.95, P<0.001). Similarly, using the egg content of arginine/glycine and methionine significantly increased the correlation coefficient in the multiple regression model predicting larval deformity (r2=0.92, P=0.002). This study reveals that accurate determination of egg quality in cobia can be improved using a combination of several variables rather than a single variable.