The trahira Hoplias aff. malabaricus is a top predator in pampean shallow lakes and is highly appreciated by recreational anglers and artisanal fishermen. Trahira growth from Yalca shallow lake was determined by lepidological analysis and age validated by marginal increment. When growth was fitted to the von Bertalanffy model, annual classes exhibited a bimodal pattern as a result of the presence of spring and summer annual cohorts associated with a three month spawning season, each period in turn showing different growth patterns. The trahira population-age structure at Yalca shallow lake showed a truncated profile with very low numbers of large adults and few individuals older than three to four years, thus producing an unbalanced length-structure population. Growth parameters and growth performance were similar to the corresponding parameters estimated for other shallow pampean lakes of the region, but strongly diverged from the data for those populations inhabiting subtropical and tropical environments. Such differences could be accounted for by dissimilarity in metabolic rates associated with thermal differences accompanying seasonal variability among latitudes as well as by the development of adaptive physiologic and demographic responses to cope with the high thermal amplitude and hydrologic instability observed in pampean lakes.
Age validation; Biological indices; Neotropical fish; Piscivorous fish; Trahira