Reproductive biology of Prochilodus argenteus Agassiz, 1829 (Pisces: Prochilodontidae) in São Francisco River, Brazil


Author's address: Nilo Bazzoli, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Zoologia de Vertebrados, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais. Av. Dom José Gaspar 500, CEP 30535-610, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.



Knowledge of the main reproductive parameters of a species is fundamental for comprehension of the reproductive behavior of a species within its habitat. To evaluate the reproductive biology of curimbatá, Prochilodus argenteus, an important species for commercial fisheries of the São Francisco River basin, Brazil, 153 females and 174 males were captured during 1999–2000 in the São Francisco River. The females (maximum total length 71.2 cm and maximum weight 7.8 kg) were larger than the males (65.0 cm and 4.3 kg). The weight–length ratio indicated isometric growth for females (b = 3.15) and for males (b = 3.04). Prochilodus argenteus presented total spawning from October to January. Increase in rainfall was the main triggering factor for reproduction, showing a positive correlation with the gonadosomatic index (r = 0.84 females; r = 0.95 males). Size at gonadal maturation of females and males was 31.0 and 25.5 cm, respectively. This study provides information to aid in future implementation of captive breeding and management practices that intend to reduce the ongoing depletion of natural stocks.