Polar Biology

, 31:1333 | Cite as

Age and growth of ocellated icefish, Chionodraco rastrospinosus DeWitt and Hureau, 1979, from the South Shetland Islands

  • Mario La Mesa
  • Julian Ashford
Original Paper


Age and growth of ocellated icefish, Chionodraco rastrospinosus, were investigated using counts of annual growth increments from sagittal otoliths. Samples were collected during research surveys by benthic trawl carried out around Elephant and South Shetland Islands in January–February 2002 and December 2006–January 2007. A total of 290 specimens were selected for the study, consisting of 120 females and 170 males. The age of fish was estimated by counting annuli on transverse sections obtained by grinding and polishing whole otoliths embedded in epoxy resin. The precision-of-age estimates within and between readers were tested applying both the average percent error (APE) and the coefficient of variation (CV). The estimated age-range was 1–12 for both sexes of C. rastrospinosus. Applying the von Bertalanffy growth function to the age–length data, a growth curve was obtained for each sex. The estimated values of VB growth parameters L and k were, respectively, 47.9 cm and 0.28 for females and 42.9 cm and 0.36 for males. Compared to other congeneric species, the growth performance of C. rastrospinosus was relatively high, being 2.82 and 2.81 in males and females, respectively. Age at sexual maturity was estimated to be about 4 years in both sexes. C. rastrospinosus captured in the studied area consisted mainly of adult specimens between 3 and 8 years, with few older fish.


Age and growth Ocellated icefish South Shetland Islands Antarctica 



The authors are very much indebted to K.H. Kock, C.D. Jones, G. von Bertouch, D.F. Doolittle, L. Pschenichnov, R. Riehl, T. Romeo, S. Schöling and L. Zane for their invaluable work carried out during the Polarstern cruise. We would like also to thank the crew of the RV Polarstern for their support in the sampling activities. This study was supported by the PNRA (Italian National Antarctic Research Program). We would finally like to thank two anonymous referees for their comments on the early draft of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ISMAR-CNR, Istituto di Scienze Marine, Sezione di AnconaAnconaItaly
  2. 2.Center of Quantitative Fisheries Ecology, Old Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

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