Brazilian Journal of Oceanography
On-line version ISSN 1982-436X
COSTA, Marcus Rodrigues da et al. Distribution and size of the mojarra Diapterus rhombeus (Cuvier) (Actinopterygii, Gerreidae) in a Southeastern Brazilian bay. Braz. j. oceanogr. [online]. 2012, vol.60, n.2, pp. 199-207. ISSN 1982-436X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1679-87592012000200010.
Diapterus rhombeus is one of the most abundant fish species in the Sepetiba bay, which is a 520 km2 semi-closed coastal area in Southeastern Brazil. The size and distribution of this species have been described in order to assess the use of the area as a rearing ground in both spatial and temporal (seasonal) dimensions. A fish sampling program was conducted monthly by using an otter trawl between October 1998 and September 1999, in three bay zones (outer, middle and inner), defined according to depth and salinity gradient. Highly significant differences were found for CPUEs (number and biomass) among seasons and zones. Size ranged from 50 to 230 mm TL, and three size-groups were defined according to a maturation scale (n = 1435): 1 - immature (< 80 mm Total Length - TL); 2- individuals at the first maturation (L50) (80-90 mm TL), and 3 - adults (L100) (> 100 mm TL). Immature and L50 individuals were more abundant (number and biomass) during Autumn in the inner zone, while adults (L100) predominated during Summer in the outer zone. Evidences of movements of young-of-the-year (50-90 mm TL) individuals from the inner to the outer zone were detected as they reach larger sizes (180 mm TL) in the second year of life. Condition (k) was higher in larger sized individuals in the outer zone during Spring, when they are apt to start the reproductive process. Two cohorts were detected according to modal progression: the first (smaller size) showing faster growth than the second, evidencing a slower growth rate as they reach larger size. Distinct size classes occupying different bay zones suggest that the age-groups optimize their coexistence by partitioning the available resources, avoiding intra-specific competition.
Keywords : Growth; Coastal fishes; Life cycle; Sepetiba bay.