Reproductive biology of the peacock bass Cichla piquiti (Perciformes: Cichlidae), an exotic species in a Neotropical reservoir

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Vieira,Augusto B. C. ; Salvador-Jr.,Luiz F. ; Melo,Rafael M. C. ; Santos,Gilmar B. ; Bazzoli,Nilo (2009)
  • Publisher: Sociedade Brasileira de Ictiologia
  • Journal: (issn: 1982-0224)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1590/S1679-62252009000400024
  • Subject: Body condition | Multiple spawning | QL1-991 | Phenotypic plasticity | Zoology | Reproduction

To analyze the reproductive biology of the peacock bass Cichla piquiti, 361 specimens were collected bimonthly in the Itumbiara Reservoir, southeast Brazil, from December 2004 to November 2005. Males and females in reproductive activity occurred during almost the entire year, with reproductive peak occurring before the beginning of the rains when the water temperature remained low, indicating that these environmental variables do not directly influence in the reproduction of C. piquiti. The long reproductive period, partially spent ovaries contained postovulatory follicles and oocytes in all developmental stages, indicate asynchronous development of oocytes and multiple spawning. The mean total lengthand body weigth were, respectively, 38.2 ± 7 cm and 965.0 ± 654.0 g for males and 37.4 ± 6.1 cm and 899.0 ± 495.0 g for females, statistically showing no sexual dimorphism in size. The smallest male and female found in advanced maturation stage measured 31.0 cm and 29.0 cm of total length, respectively. The body condition (K) of males and females did not present significant differences during the reproductive cycle and the slope (b) of the length-weight relationship was 3.22, suggesting that reproduction and the annual hydrology cycle do not interfere in the health condition. Cichla piquiti is an exotic piscivore fish that is well adapted to this Neotropical reservoir, which exhibits environmental conditions considerably different from its original habitat. This study indicates that the species presents plasticity in reproduction and in allocation of resources, probably due the aseasonality of the reservoir and the exploitation of native species.