, Volume 73, Issue 4, pp 427-436

Differences in life-history traits in two clonal strains of the self-fertilizing fish, Rivulus marmoratus

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We compared life-history traits such as fecundity, sex ratio, reproductive cycle, age at sexual maturity, embryonic period, egg size, early growth and morphology in two clonal strains (PAN-RS and DAN) of the mangrove killifish, Rivulus marmoratus, under constant rearing conditions. We found a positive relationship between growth and reproductive effort. Fecundity was significantly higher in the PAN-RS strain than in the DAN strain. The sex ratio was significantly different, with DAN producing more primary males than PAN-RS. Spawning and ovulation cycle did not clearly differ between the strains. PAN-RS showed a significantly higher growth rate than DAN from 0 to 100 days after hatching, however, age at sexual maturity, embryonic period, egg size, and morphometric and meristic characteristics (vertebral and fin-ray counts) did not differ between the two strains. The high fecundity of PAN-RS may provide an increased chance of offspring survival, while the attainment of sexual maturity at a smaller size in DAN may allow them to invest earlier in reproduction to increase breeding success. Variations in the life-history traits of PAN-RS and DAN may be adaptive strategies for life in their natural habitat, which consists of mangrove estuaries with a highly variable environment.