Sexual dimorphism and gonadal development of the Australian longfinned river eel

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Fish Biology, 2003, 63 (1), pp. 137 - 152
Issue Date:
2003-07-01
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The sex and stage of gonadal development of longfinned river eels Anguilla reinhardtii, captured from nine river catchments in New South Wales, Australia, between 1999 and 2001, were determined macroscopically. Sex was verified by histology. Histology was also necessary, however, to accurately define stages of gonadal development, particularly in individuals <600 mm in total body length. Anguilla reinhardtii displayed asynchronous gamete development. The most advanced cells present in migrating male and female A. reinhardtii were spermatocytes and previtellogenic oocytes, respectively. Gonadal development stages were positively correlated with body size in both sexes. Females, however, were significantly larger than males and their gonads matured over a broader size range. Size at sexual differentiation (42-60cm for males and 50-76cm for females) was much larger than for most other anguillids that have been studied, with the exception of the New Zealand longfinned eel Anguilla dieffenbachii. Corresponding with its large range in size at sexual differentiation was a relatively large range in size at migration for both males (44-62cm) and females (74-142cm). © 2003 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.
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