Gonad development and spawning behaviour of artificially-matured European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.)

V.J.T. van Ginneken, G. Vianen, B. Muusze, A.P. Palstra, L. Verschoor, O. Lugten, M. Onderwater, Sj. Schie, P. Niemantsverdriet, R. van Heeswijk, E.H. Eding, G. van den Thillart

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36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gonadal development and spawning behaviour of artificially-matured European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) was studied. Treatment of males with Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG; 1 IU g/week) resulted in a Gonado-Somatic Index (GSI) of 10.88 ± 3.39 and spermiation. Treatment of females with carp Pituitary suspension (cPs) (20 mg cPs/kg body weight per week) resulted in oogenesis with a GSI of 20.0 ± 11.3 (n = 7), and the number of eggs per female was 1874 * 103 ± 1116 * 103; (n = 7). Ovulation of the females was induced with 17, 20 dihydroxyprogesteron (DHP) at 2 g/g bodyweight. Eggs of European eel were found to be non-sticky and typically pelagic. Maximum speed of eggs rising to the surface in a water column was 2.24 ± 0.33 metres (m) per hour (h). To study behaviour in a qualitative way, two females were used together with three groups of three males. During a 283 minute (min) observation of the two females, we observed female-female interaction: 'lethargic behaviour' (33.6%) vs. 'cruising together' (66.4%). In the period when males and females were together (188 min), we observed 'approaching the head region of the female' (57.7%), 'touching the operculum' (39.4%), or 'approaching the urogenital area' (2.9%) by the males (total 725 seconds (s)). Sperm release in the presence of a female took 115 s of the total approaching time of 725 s (15.9%), while in the case of male-male interaction this was only 15 s of the total period of 116 s (12.9%). Induced spawning behaviour of eels was collective and simultaneous, corresponding to spawning in a group. This is the first time group spawning behaviour has ever been observed and recorded in eels
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-218
JournalAnimal Biology
Volume55
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • japanese eel
  • reproductive migration
  • hydrostatic-pressure
  • sexual-maturation
  • fertilization
  • induction
  • japonica
  • larvae
  • growth
  • eggs

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