Hatching patterns and larval growth of a triplefin from central Chile inferred by otolith microstructure analysis

Pamela Palacios-Fuentes, Mauricio F. Landaeta, Nicole Jahnsen-Guzmán, Guido Plaza, F. Patricio Ojeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The subtidal rocky reefs are home to a diverse range of marine animals, including small cryptic fishes, characterised by a bipartite life cycle, with benthic adults and pelagic larval stage that lasts from several days to several months. Using the otolith microstructure analysis, this study determines the hatching and larval growth patterns of the abundant triplefin Helcogrammoides chilensis (Pisces: Tripterygiidae). Fish larvae were collected during September-October 2010 and between July 2012 and April 2013 in nearshore waters (<500 m) of central Chile. Nearshore time series of ichthyoplankton samples showed that large abundance of this species occurs during early austral spring and autumn seasons. Body lengths ranged from 3.11 to 16.57 mm (1-57 days old). Sagittal microincrement analyses estimate that during the main reproductive season, larval growth rates are slow, varying between 0.145 and 0.156 mm day-1 at a weekly scale. Back-calculated hatch days and circular statistics indicate a major hatch pulse occurring near full moon of the lunar cycle. These results suggest that reproduction occurs coupled with the upwelling season, which reduces the probability of starvation, and hatching occurs during spring tides (full moon), which increases larval dispersion and population connectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-266
Number of pages8
JournalAquatic Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Hatching pattern
  • Helcogrammoides chilensis
  • Lunar cycle
  • Otolith
  • Tripterygiidae


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