Reproductive seasonality of Geophagus steindachneri Eigenmann & Hildebrand, 1922 (Perciformes: Cichlidae) in a tropical mountain river

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Abstract

Reproductive seasonality in tropical freshwater fishes is strongly influenced by rainfall. In lowlands, floods spill laterally to floodplains and fishes usually breed during the flooding season. In mountain rivers, floods are sudden and flush out aquatic organisms. Fishes in mountain rivers usually breed during dry seasons, what has been hypothesized as a strategy to reduce mortality due to strong floods. If that is the case, mouth-brooding fishes should suffer less from strong floods and should have more prolonged breeding seasons in mountain rivers. Here we investigated the breeding activity of a mouth-brooding cichlid (Geophagus steindachneri) in a mountain river in Colombia using three kinds of evidence: monthly variation of gonad weight, macroscopic and histological observations of the gonads, and occurrence of mouth-brooding females. Analysis was made on adults captured monthly throughout a year. The results indicate that G. steindachneri breeds during the dry season in the mountain river studied. Female mouth brooding was related with a halt in the maturation of their ovaries. Other factors than the flushing-out effect of floods on offspring may be determining dry-season breeding of fishes in tropical mountain rivers.

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Rangel-Serpa, F., & Torres, M. (2015). Reproductive seasonality of Geophagus steindachneri Eigenmann & Hildebrand, 1922 (Perciformes: Cichlidae) in a tropical mountain river. Neotropical Ichthyology, 13(2), 421–430. https://doi.org/10.1590/1982-0224-20140091

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