Larval description and habitat utilization of an amphidromous goby, Redigobius bikolanus (Gobiidae)

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Abstract

Redigobius bikolanus (Gobiidae), which is distributed widely in the tropical regions of the West Pacific, is categorized as an amphidromous fish. Such fish reproduce in fresh water and newly hatched larvae immediately drift downstream to the estuary and sea where they spend a pelagic stage before returning upstream as juveniles. The morphology of larval R. bikolanus has been reported mainly from Japan, whereas little is known about the early stages of this species on the Asian continent. To understand larval growth of this goby, monthly and bimonthly collections with ichthyoplankton nets were made in the Tien Yen estuary in northern Vietnam, from October 2014 to September 2015. A total of 282 larvae (preflexion to postflexion stages, 2.3-5.4 mm body length) of R. bikolanus were collected from the center of the current in May, but none were captured in the waters near the banks. The larvae were similar in general morphology to those of common gobies, but could be distinguished from other gobiid genera by two very large stellate melanophores on the ventral surface of the trunk and tail. Descriptions of R. bikolanus larvae based on a series of wild specimens are provided. The fishes occurred in low salinities (0.2-2.3 PSU) within 1 m from the surface layer. Together with the wide range of size and developmental stages, this suggests that larvae of R. bikolanus utilize the center of the current of the Tien Yen estuary as their nursery area. This habitat has not been recorded in Japan.

Larval description and habitat utilization of an amphidromous goby, Redigobius bikolanus (Gobiidae)

in Animal Biology

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References

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Figures

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    Chart showing the stations where surveys were carried out in the Tien Yen estuary, northern Vietnam, from October 2014 to September 2015. Stations where fish larvae and juveniles were sampled are indicated by solid circles (stations TL6-11, larva net) and open circles (stations TS8-12, seine net).

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    Morphometric (mm) and meristic values for larvae of Redigobius bikolanus collected from the center of the current in the Tien Yen estuary in northern Vietnam. Body lengths correspond to notochord lengths for preflexion and flexion larvae and to standard lengths for postflexion larvae.

  • View in gallery

    Larvae of Redigobius bikolanus collected in the Tien Yen estuary. (a) 2.30 mm BL preflexion larva (BHNUE-281001001); (b) 2.85 mm BL preflexion larva (BHNUE-281001002); (c) 3.30 mm BL preflexion larva (BHNUE-281001003); (d) 3.75 mm BL postflexion larva (BHNUE-281001004); (e) 4.90 mm BL postflexion larva (BHNUE-281001005).

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    Monthly changes in water temperature, salinity and turbidity in the Tien Yen estuary of northern Vietnam from October 2014 to September 2015. Solid circles and horizontal bars indicate mean and median values, respectively.

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    Collection records of larval Redigobius bikolanus in the center of the current of the Tien Yen estuary, northern Vietnam, in May 2015.

  • View in gallery

    Size and developmental stages of Redigobius bikolanus larvae collected in May 2015 in the center of the current in the Tien Yen estuary.

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