Microscopic Evidence of the Opportunistic Reproductive Strategy and Early Sexual Maturation of the Small-Sized Characin Knodus moenkhausii (Characidae, Pisces)
Data de publicação2014
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We investigated the reproductive biology of Knodus moenkhausii, an abundantsmall-sized characin fish with broad occurrence in the Parana River basin, Bra-zil. Specimens were collected monthly to determine fecundity, length at firstmaturity, reproductive period and spawning type. Gonads were macroscopically classified according to their form, size and texture in three different stages(immature, maturing or mature). Histological procedures were conducted toconfirm gonadal developmental stages, and it was possible to notice thatmaturing females actually presented atretic oocytes, and all males that weremacroscopically classified as immature, maturing and mature actually presentedabundant spermatozoa in their gonads. Because of these discrepancies, a reclas-sification of gonadal maturations stages was needed after histological analysis,reinforcing its importance to studies on the reproduction of small characins.Reproduction occurred throughout the year though with two peaks. The lengthof the smallest mature individuals was 13 mm SL for males and 24 mm SL for females. Despite presenting relatively small batch fecundity, some life historytraits such as early reproduction, multiple spawning throughout the year, inassociation with known opportunistic feeding habits, explain the high abun-dance of this species in locations where it occurs.