, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 72-76,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 20 Oct 2010

Assessing the accuracy of using whole and sectioned vertebrae to determine the age of an endemic sisorid catfish, Glyptosternon maculatum , in Tibet, China


The purpose of this study was to develop a reliable method of age estimation for Glyptosternon maculatum (Sisoridae, Siluriformes) in the Yarlung Tsangpo River basin of Tibetan Plateau using whole and sectioned vertebrae. Sectioned vertebrae showed that translucent bands were separated by distinct opaque bands through the focus to the margin. Although whole vertebrae showed clear band patterns in the intermediate region, such band patterns are obscure around the region of the focus of the vertebrae in older fish. The whole and sectioned vertebrae methods produced consistent ages until age 6, but there was a trend towards greater differences between the two methods as age increased. These findings indicate that sectioned vertebrae are suitable for age estimation of this species.