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Allometric larval growth of the bottom-dwelling catfish Lophiosilurus alexandri Steindachner, 1876 (Siluriformes: Pseudopimelodidae)

ABSTRACT

We investigated the early life growth pattern of pacamã, Lophiosilurus alexandri , a catfish endemic to the rio São Francisco basin, Brazil. Pacamã larvae were kept in a galvanized trough for 29 days after hatching. We collected approximately 10 larvae daily (total number = 285). We obtained from each specimen the total length (independent variable) and 11 other body measurements (dependent variables). We performed linear regressions on the log-transformed data to determine the growth pattern of the body measurements and the respective inflexion point on the growth curves. Except for trunk length, trunk width and yolk sac volume, the remaining body measurements showed a positive allometric growth coefficient up to the respective IP followed by a decrease in the rate of relative growth afterwards. Although trunk width presented a positive allometric growth, no significant inflexion point was detected. The dorsal-ventral head flattening seen in the adult pacamã was quickly expressed in the larvae as indicated by the large allometric growth of head width. Maxillary barbels showed the highest growth rate. The exceptionally high growth rates of eyes and maxillary barbels and the acquired ability to capture prey (as suggested by mouth length growth) strengthened the hypothesis of growth priorities in which the most essential organs develop first.

Keywords:
Early life; Fish rearing; Larval development; Pacamã; Rio São Francisco

Sociedade Brasileira de Ictiologia Neotropical Ichthyology, Núcleo de Pesquisas em Limnologia, Ictiologia e Aquicultura, Universidade Estadual de Maringá., Av. Colombo, 5790, 87020-900, Phone number: +55 44-3011-4632 - Maringá - PR - Brazil
E-mail: neoichth@nupelia.uem.br