Ichthyological Research

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 140–154 | Cite as

Age, growth, and reproductive biology of the Atlantic spadefish Chaetodipterus faber in southern Brazil

  • Marcelo SoethEmail author
  • Luis Fernando Fávaro
  • Henry Louis Spach
  • Felippe Alexandre Daros
  • Ana Emília Woltrich
  • Alberto Teodorico Correia
Full Paper


This is the first study to investigate the age, growth and reproductive biology of the Atlantic spadefish Chaetodipterus faber in southern Brazil. A total of 625 individuals [total length (TL) ranging from 7 mm to 510 mm] were sampled at the Paranaguá Estuarine Complex (PEC) and adjacent coastal areas over a year (August 2015 to July 2016). Age estimation based on sagittal otolith cross section showed that C. faber has a 17-year longevity close to its southern distributional limit, two times greater than previously reported from the North Atlantic Ocean. Sexual growth dimorphism was not evident as the male:female sex ratio was 1:1.17. The species displayed asymptotic growth. Fitted von Bertalanffy growth function estimates for all individuals were L = 508.81 mm, k = 0.22 year−1, and t0 = -0.05 year. The histological gonadal examination and gonado-somatic index indicated that C. faber is a batch spawner with a main reproduction period from October to January in subtropical latitudes at 25°S. Postovulatory follicles were often recorded in the ovaries of spawning capable individuals indicating a high frequency of spawns over the reproductive period. The data also suggest that estuaries are important reproductive areas for this species that most likely exhibits a seasonal movement for spawning aggregation purposes. Females mature approximately 0.5 years later than males and are capable of spawning just prior to two years old. Fishery closures during the spawning season and fishing size restrictions should be used to manage the C. faber stock in southern Brazil. The effects of current harvest levels are unknown and warrant further investigation to assist management decisions.


Ephippidae Growth modelling Reproduction Sexual maturity South Atlantic 



The authors are grateful to A. Almeida for the help with the preliminary lab work. We thank the fishermen from Pontal do Paraná for helping with the fish collection. The authors are also grateful to A. O. Ávila-da-Silva for lending us the Isomet Saw. We thank the Center of Studies of the Sea (CEM/UFPR) and the Coastal and Oceanic Systems Post-graduate (PGSISCO) for sampling support. Special thanks to R. Wartenberg for the English review. Financial support was provided by the Araucária Foundation (Cov. 020/2015). The first author and F. A. Daros were funded from doctoral (CAPES/PGSISCO) and postdoctoral (CAPES–1669551) fellowship, respectively. A.T. Correia benefited from a Special Visiting Research Fellowship (CNPq/PVE–314444/2014-9). This research was conducted with the approval of the Institute for Biodiversity Conservation of the Brazilian Ministry of Environment (permits 46222-1 and 511462).


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© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratório de Ecologia de Peixes, Centro de Estudos do MarUniversidade Federal do ParanáPontal do ParanáBrazil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Sistemas Costeiros e OceânicosUniversidade Federal do ParanáPontal do ParanáBrazil
  3. 3.Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR)PortoPortugal
  4. 4.Laboratório de Reprodução e Comunidade de Peixes, Centro PolitécnicoUniversidade Federal do ParanáCuritibaBrazil
  5. 5.Universidade Estadual Paulista “Júlio de Mesquita Filho”RegistroBrazil
  6. 6.Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde daUniversidade Fernando Pessoa (FCS/UFP)PortoPortugal

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