Early life traits (ELT) of the sand-burrowing cryptic marine fish Sindoscopus australis (family Dactyloscopidae) were compared between cohorts hatched during winter and spring 2013, in nearshore rocky reefs off central Chile. Pelagic larvae were similarly abundant during both periods, but larger larvae were collected during austral spring. The sagittal otolith microstructure and size analyses also indicated that size-at-hatch was larger (4.7 mm) for the winter cohort, but winter larvae experienced slower growth rates (0.145 mm day-1 ± 0.008). Conversely, larvae from the spring cohort hatched at smaller sizes (2.9 mm), but they grew faster (0.182 mm day-1 ± 0.008). Hatching periods were coupled with the lunar cycle; in winter, hatching events were related to neap tides (first and third quarter moon), increasing chances of self-recruitment. Meanwhile, during spring, hatching occurred during spring tides, particularly over the new moon, decreasing chances of larval mortality by predation. Otolith traits used to test asymmetry among cohorts showed inconsistent results. Only sagittal perimeter presented fluctuating asymmetry, showing higher variance for the winter cohort. We conclude that this burrowing species displays different reproductive tactics at a seasonal scale.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom|
|State||Published - 1 Sep 2018|
- larval growth
- sand stargazer