Research Papers

Population structure and reproductive biology of Schilbe intermedius (Teleostei: Schilbeidae) in the Pendjari River, Benin


Abstract

This study, the first on fish reproduction in the Pendjari River, investigated aspects of the reproductive biology of Schilbe intermedius. A total of 429 females and 239 males were collected from March 2007 to February 2008. Females were larger than males and the sex ratio was 1:1.8 in favour of females. Size at first maturity was estimated to be 14.9 cm and 16.1 cm for males and females, respectively. Absolute fecundity ranged from 1 006 to 83 980 (22 421 ± 16 083) oocytes, and mean relative fecundity was 201 ± 162 oocytes g−1 of total body mass. Frequency distributions of oocyte diameter suggested synchronous development, with total spawning. Spawning lasted from June to November, coinciding with peaks in rainfall and flooding. Larger females began spawning about two months before smaller ones.

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