Life cycle of a small endemic goby Economidichthys pygmaeus (Family: Gobiidae) in Lake Pamvotis, northwestern Greece


Author’s address: Ioannis Leonardos, Department of Biological Applications and Technology, University of Ioannina, GR-Ioannina 45 110, Greece.


The life history tactics of the small endemic freshwater goby Economidichhtys pygmaeus were examined in a Mediterranean shallow lake located in the northwestern part of Greece (Lake Pamvotis). The purpose of the study was to define the population structure, growth, length at sexual maturity, sex ratio, annual cycle of gonad development, spawning characteristics and fecundity. Fish samples were collected using a hand net from October 2006 to September 2007. The fish grew rapidly in summer after hatching, matured after their first winter, and bred from February to June. The length frequency distribution indicated the appearance of two cohorts per year. Juveniles occurred in samples from April to September. Maturity length (ML50) of males and females were estimated to be 23.54 and 23.28 mm TL, respectively. Sexual dimorphism related to the male caudal fin was observed and males grew to greater lengths than females. The overall ratio of males to females was 1:1.35. Spawning was from February to June. Ripe females appeared to be multiple spawners, with oocytes at different stages of development. Size of oocytes changed during maturation and increased in diameter from about 0.125 to more than 0.9 mm. Absolute fecundity was positively related to TL and TW and varied between 59 and 309 eggs. After reproduction, the number of parental individuals decreased.