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Chemical composition and growth indices in leptocephalus larvae
Bishop, R.E.; Torres, J.J.; Crabtree, R.E. (2000). Chemical composition and growth indices in leptocephalus larvae. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 137(2): 205-214.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Bishop, R.E.
  • Torres, J.J.
  • Crabtree, R.E.

    Leptocephali grow at extremely high rates (>1?mm?d-1), but, unlike most fish larvae, leptocephali may remain in the plankton as larvae for several months before metamorphosing into the juvenile form. During their planktonic phase, leptocephali accumulate energy reserves in the form of glycosaminoglycans which are then expended along with lipid reserves to fuel metamorphosis. Otolith growth rates were determined using scanning electron microscopy for four species of leptocephali common in the Gulf of Mexico, Paraconger caudilimbatus (Poey, 1867), Ariosoma balearicum (Delaroche, 1809), Gymnothorax saxicola (Jordan and Davis, 1891), and Ophichthus gomesii (Castelnou, 1855). Proximate composition, RNA:DNA ratios and protein growth rates were examined with respect to mass, length and age. The leptocephalus growth strategy was strongly reflected in the growth indices. Mass (Y) in all four species increased with increasing age (X) according to the equation Y?=?aX b , where a is a species-specific constant and 1.05?

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