Fisheries Science

, Volume 83, Issue 3, pp 447–454 | Cite as

Swim bladder inflation as a possible cause of saddleback-like syndrome malformation in hatchery-reared red spotted grouper Epinephelus akaara

  • Takashi Iwasaki
  • Kazuhisa Teruya
  • Sho Mizuta
  • Katsuyuki Hamasaki
Original Article Aquaculture


Saddleback-like syndrome is one of the most frequently observed malformations in hatchery-reared red spotted grouper Epinephelus akaara. Saddleback-like syndrome is characterized by a V-shaped dorsal-profile depression behind the head region accompanied by deformities or misalignments of the first to fourth neural spines on the vertebral column and the first to fourth pterygiophores of the dorsal fin. Abnormal swim bladder inflation in several finfish species leads to malformations, particularly of the vertebral column. The present study examined the influence of swim bladder inflation on saddleback-like syndrome in hatchery-reared red spotted grouper. The incidence of saddleback-like syndrome increased as swim bladder inflation rate increased. Additionally, the incidence of saddleback-like syndrome among juveniles with inflated swim bladders was significantly higher than that among juveniles with uninflated swim bladders. The larval swim bladder is located just below the first to fifth vertebrae and the first to fifth dorsal spines, where saddleback-like syndrome occurs. Our results suggest that an inflated swim bladder increases the risk of saddleback-like syndrome in hatchery-reared red spotted grouper.


Malformation Red spotted grouper Saddleback-like syndrome Seed production Swim bladder 



We thank the staff of the Kamiura Laboratory, National Research Institute of Aquaculture and the Tamano Laboratory, National Research Institute of Fisheries and Environment of Inland Sea for their help with broodstock management and fish rearing. We express sincere gratitude to Mr. T. Nambu of the Yamaguchi Prefectural Fisheries Research Center for his technical advice regarding this study. We are grateful to the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions, which improved the manuscript substantially.


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takashi Iwasaki
    • 1
  • Kazuhisa Teruya
    • 1
  • Sho Mizuta
    • 2
  • Katsuyuki Hamasaki
    • 2
  1. 1.Yaeyama Laboratory, Seikai National Fisheries Research InstituteJapan Fisheries Research and Education AgencyIshigakiJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Marine Science and TechnologyTokyo University of Marine Science and TechnologyTokyoJapan

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