Year-Round Spawning, Filial Cannibalism, and Embryonic and Larval Development of the Coral Reef Fish Orchid Dottyback, Pseudochromis fridmani

Chen, Jun Yu, Zeng, Chaoshu, and Cobcroft, Jennifer M. (2023) Year-Round Spawning, Filial Cannibalism, and Embryonic and Larval Development of the Coral Reef Fish Orchid Dottyback, Pseudochromis fridmani. Fishes, 8 (9). 451.

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Abstract

Aquaculture of marine ornamental fish could potentially reduce the fishing pressure on wild stocks by the global aquarium trade, but its expansion is often constrained by the limited understanding on the biology and early life history of candidate species. The orchid dottyback Pseudochromis fridmani is a valuable and popular marine ornamental fish, but scientific reports on its baseline biology, especially the egg filial cannibalistic behaviour, are scarce. The present study documented key aspects of reproductive biology and early ontogeny of P. fridmani in captivity, including reproductive behaviour, patterns of spawning and filial cannibalism throughout a 12-month period by seven pairs of brood fish, as well as the embryonic and larval development. The results showed that the captive spawning of the broodstock pairs generally occurred every 5–11 days, most commonly every 6–8 days, throughout a year. Despite feeding the brood fish to satiation throughout the data collection period, the average monthly rate of egg filial cannibalism reached 55 ± 37%, but the cannibalism frequency appeared to be pair-specific. The egg incubation duration was approximately 96 h at 27 ± 1 °C, and the development of embryos from cleavage, blastula, gastrula, and segmentation to the pharyngula stage is herein described in detail. The newly hatched P. fridmani larvae possessed important structures and organs for first feeding, including pigmented eyes, developed jaws, and a straight-tube gut. The 0 to 14 days post-hatching (DPH) period appeared to be an important larval stage, as P. fridmani larvae were observed to complete major changes in morphology, gut development, and phototactic behaviour by 14 DPH. Under the culture conditions of this study, the earliest transition to the juvenile stage was observed on 31 DPH, and the majority of fish became juveniles by 56 DPH. The results of this study inform baseline aquaculture production protocols and direct future research, particularly to reduce filial cannibalism through broodstock management and to improve larval culture through supporting the early ontogenetic development of P. fridmani. Additionally, these findings form a foundation for further studying the biology and ecology of P. fridmani in the wild.

Item ID: 80859
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2410-3888
Keywords: captive breeding, early ontogeny, larval rearing, marine ornamental fish, spawning interval and behaviour
Copyright Information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2023 04:49
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300501 Aquaculture @ 70%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300504 Fish physiology and genetics @ 30%
SEO Codes: 10 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 1002 Fisheries - aquaculture > 100202 Aquaculture fin fish (excl. tuna) @ 80%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180504 Marine biodiversity @ 20%
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