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Age, growth and maturation of the redbelly tilapia Tilapia zillii introduced into the Haebaru Reservoir on Okinawa-jima Island

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Abstract

ABSTRACT:  The age, growth and maturation of the redbelly tilapia Tilapia zillii introduced into the Haebaru Reservoir on Okinawa-jima Island were studied using 2197 specimens ranging from 7.3 to 168.0 mm standard length (SL). The spawning season was estimated to be from April to August, with a peak in April and May. The first maturation sizes of females and males were estimated to be 38.1 and 33.0 mm SL, respectively. The opaque zones in otoliths that form annually were found to correlate with the spawning season. Maximum ages of females and males were 7 and 6 years, respectively. The von Bertalanffy growth formulae were expressed as: Lt = 99{1 − exp[−0.67(t + 0.09)]} for females and Lt = 155{1 − exp [−0.36(t + 0.12)]} for males. Males grew to be larger than females from the first year onward. Populations of this species are characterized by early maturation life history parameters and are thought to adapt and become established quickly after being released into new water systems. Furthermore, extermination activity in winter is thought to be an effective strategy before the newly recruited fish begin breeding in the warmer months.

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