Aquatic Ecology

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 259–266 | Cite as

Hatching patterns and larval growth of a triplefin from central Chile inferred by otolith microstructure analysis

  • Pamela Palacios-Fuentes
  • Mauricio F. Landaeta
  • Nicole Jahnsen-Guzmán
  • Guido Plaza
  • F. Patricio Ojeda


The subtidal rocky reefs are home to a diverse range of marine animals, including small cryptic fishes, characterised by a bipartite life cycle, with benthic adults and pelagic larval stage that lasts from several days to several months. Using the otolith microstructure analysis, this study determines the hatching and larval growth patterns of the abundant triplefin Helcogrammoides chilensis (Pisces: Tripterygiidae). Fish larvae were collected during September–October 2010 and between July 2012 and April 2013 in nearshore waters (<500 m) of central Chile. Nearshore time series of ichthyoplankton samples showed that large abundance of this species occurs during early austral spring and autumn seasons. Body lengths ranged from 3.11 to 16.57 mm (1–57 days old). Sagittal microincrement analyses estimate that during the main reproductive season, larval growth rates are slow, varying between 0.145 and 0.156 mm day−1 at a weekly scale. Back-calculated hatch days and circular statistics indicate a major hatch pulse occurring near full moon of the lunar cycle. These results suggest that reproduction occurs coupled with the upwelling season, which reduces the probability of starvation, and hatching occurs during spring tides (full moon), which increases larval dispersion and population connectivity.


Otolith Lunar cycle Hatching pattern Tripterygiidae Helcogrammoides chilensis 



The authors want to thank to Jorge Contreras, María José Ochoa-Muñoz, Franco Salas-Berrios and Dr. Randy Finke for their field work on-board RV Ilan, and Dr. Lidia Mansur for her comments and support. Two anonymous reviewers improve with their comments a previous version of the ms. This research was supported by Comisión Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología [FONDECYT Grant Number 1100424 to FPO, GP and MFL].


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamela Palacios-Fuentes
    • 1
  • Mauricio F. Landaeta
    • 1
  • Nicole Jahnsen-Guzmán
    • 2
  • Guido Plaza
    • 3
  • F. Patricio Ojeda
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Ictioplancton (LABITI), Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y de Recursos NaturalesUniversidad de ValparaísoViña del MarChile
  2. 2.Facultad de Ecología y Recursos NaturalesUniversidad Andrés BelloSantiagoChile
  3. 3.Escuela de Ciencias del MarPontificia Universidad Católica de ValparaísoValparaisoChile
  4. 4.Facultad de Ciencias BiológicasPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile

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