, Volume 515, Issue 1–3, pp 39–48 | Cite as

Reproductive cycle and spatiotemporal variation in abundance of the one-sided livebearer Jenynsia multidentata, in Patos Lagoon, Brazil

  • Alexandre M. Garcia
  • João P. Vieira
  • Kirk O. Winemiller
  • Marcelo B. Raseira


Jenynsia multidentata is an important component of the fish assemblage of the Patos Lagoon estuary in southern South Brazil. In order to investigate its reproductive cycle and abundance patterns, standardized sampling was conducted over large spatial (marine, estuary and lagoon) and temporal (1996–2003) scales. Both females and males were significantly more abundant during summer (December–March) than winter (June–August). Total abundance was significantly positively correlated with water temperature (R=0.91), but not with salinity and Secchi depth. Females achieved higher average (49.1 mm LT) and maximum size (91 mm) than males (37.7 mm; 66 mm), and average sex ratio was female-biased (3.2:1) across all months. An annual reproductive cycle composed of two cohorts was proposed: individuals born from December to March started reproducing during late winter and spring and individuals born from September to November started reproducing during late summer and fall. A 12-month survey conducted throughout the longitudinal gradient of the lagoon indicated that the species was only present in the estuary, and was absent from marine and upper lagoon areas. The abiotic factors analyzed could not explain this spatial distribution. Inter-annual variation in abundance was great, with higher abundance during drier years. A `dilution effect' was proposed to explain the low abundance of the species in the estuary during high-rainfall trigged by El Niño episodes.

Anablepidae life-history livebearing fishes Patos Lagoon estuary 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aranha, J. M. R. & E. P. Caramaschi, 1999. Estrutura populacional, aspectos da reprodução e alimentação dos Cyprinodontiformes (Osteichthyes) de um riacho do sudeste do Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 16: 637–651.Google Scholar
  2. Betito, R., 1984. Dinâmica da população de Jenynsia lineata (Cyprinodontiformes, Anablepidae) na restinga de Rio Grande, estuário da Lagoa dos Patos (RS-Brasil), MSc Thesis, Rio Grande Federal University, Rio Grande, Brazil.Google Scholar
  3. Bisazza, A. & A. Pilastro, 1997. Small male mating advantage and reversed size dimorphism in poeciliid fishes. Journal of Fish Biology 50: 397–406.Google Scholar
  4. Bisazza, A., S. Manfredi & A. Pilastro, 2000. Sexual competition, coercive mating and mate assessment in the one-sided livebearer, Jenynsia multidentata: are they predictive of sexual dimorphism? Ethology 106: 961–978.Google Scholar
  5. Blanckenhorn, W. U., R. F. Preziosi & D. J. Fairbairn, 1995. Time and energy constraints and the evolution of sexual size dimorphism-to eat or to mate? Evolutionary Ecology 9: 369–381.Google Scholar
  6. Burns, J. R. & J. A. Flores, 1981. Reproductive biology of the cuatro ojos, Anableps dowi (Pisces: Anablepidae), from El Salvador and its seasonal variations. Copeia 1981: 25–32.Google Scholar
  7. Chao, L. H., L. E. Pereira & J. P. Vieira, 1985. Estuarine fish community of the dos Patos Lagoon, Brazil. A baseline study. In Yanez-Arancibia, A. (ed.), Fish Community Ecology in Estuaries and Coastal Lagoons: Towards an Ecoystem Integration. DR (R) UNAM Press, Mexico: 429–450.Google Scholar
  8. Clutton-Brock, T. H. & G. A. Parker, 1995. Sexual coercion in animal societies. Animal Behaviour 49: 1345–1365.Google Scholar
  9. Constantz, G. D. 1984. Sperm competition in poeciliid fishes. In Smith, R. L. (ed.), Sperm Competition and the Evolution of Animal Mating Systems. Academic Press, Orlando: 465–485.Google Scholar
  10. Costa, C. S. B., J. C. Marangoni & A.M. G. Azevedo, in press. Plant zonation in irregularly flooded salt marshes: relative importance of stress tolerance and biological interactions. Journal of Ecology 91.Google Scholar
  11. Endler, J. A. 1995. Multiple-trait coevolution and environmental gradients in guppies. Tree 10: 22–29.Google Scholar
  12. Fairbairn, D. J., 1990. Factors influencing sexual size dimorphism in temperate waterstriders. The American Naturalist 136: 61–86.Google Scholar
  13. Farr, J. A. 1977. Male rarity or novelty, female choice behavior, and sexual selection in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata Peters (Pisces: Poeciliidae). Evolution 31: 162–168.Google Scholar
  14. Fontoura, N. F., A. S. Braun, D. S. Lewis & G. D. B. Souto, 1994. Dinâmica populacional da ictiofauna da Lagoa Fortaleza, Cidreira, Rio Grande do Sul II. Jenynsia lineata (Jenyns, 1842) (Teleostei, Anablepidae). Biociências, Porto Alegre 2: 75–78.Google Scholar
  15. Garcia, A. M. & J. P. Vieira, 1997. Abundância e diversidade da assembléia de peixes dentro e fora de uma pradaria de Ruppia maritima L., no estuário da Lagoa dos Patos (RS-Brasil). Atlântica, Rio Grande 19: 161–181.Google Scholar
  16. Garcia, A. M., J. P. Vieira & K. O. Winemiller, 2001. Dynamics of the shallow-water fish assemblage of the Patos Lagoon estuary (Brazil) during cold and warm ENSO episodes. Journal of Fish Biology 59: 1218–1238.Google Scholar
  17. Garcia, A. M., J. P. Vieira & K. O. Winemiller, 2003. Effects of 1997-1998 El Niño on the dynamics of the shallow-water fish assemblage of the Patos Lagoon estuary (Brazil). Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 57 (3): 489–500.Google Scholar
  18. Garcia, A. M., M. B. Raseira, J. P. Vieira, K. O. Winemiller & A. M. Grimm, in press. Spatiotemporal variation in shallow-water freshwater fish distribution and abundance in a large subtropical coastal lagoon. Environmental Biology of Fishes.Google Scholar
  19. Ghedotti, M. J., 1998. Phylogeny and classification of the Anablepidae (Teleostei: Cyprinodontiformes). In Malabarba, L. R., R. E. Reis, R. P. Vari, Z. M. S. Lucena & C. A. S. Lucena (eds), Phylogeny and Classification of Neotropical fishes. EDIPUCRS, Porto Alegre (Brazil): 561–582.Google Scholar
  20. Ghedotti, M. J. & S. H. Weitzman, 1996. A New Species of Jenynsia (Cyprinodontiformes: Anablepidae) from Brazil with Comments on the Composition and Taxonomy of the Genus. Natural History Museum, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas: 1–25.Google Scholar
  21. Helfman, G. S., B. B. Collette & D. E. Facey, 1997. The Diversity of Fishes. Blackwell Science, Malden, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  22. Kneib, R. T. & C. E. H. Scheele, 2000. Does tethering of mobile prey measure relative predation potential? An empirical test using mummichogs and grass shrimp. Marine Ecology Progress Series 198: 181–190.Google Scholar
  23. Macías Garcia, C., G. Jimenez & B. Contreras, 1994. Correlational evidence of a sexually-selected handicap. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 35: 253–259.Google Scholar
  24. Macías Garcia, C., E. Saborío, & E. Berea, 1998. Does male-biased predation lead to male scarcity in viviparous fish? Journal of Fish Biology 53 (Suppl. A): 104–117.Google Scholar
  25. Magurran, A. E. & C.M. Garcia, 2000. Sex differences in behaviour as an indirect consequence of mating system. Journal of Fish Biology 57: 839–857.Google Scholar
  26. Magurran, A. E. & M. A. Nowak, 1991. Another battle of the sexes: the consequences of sexual asymmetry in mating costs and predation risk in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 246: 31–38.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Magurran, A. E. & B. H. Seghers, 1994. Sexual conflict as a consequence of ecology: evidence from guppy, Poecilia reticulata, populations in Trinidad. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 255: 31–36.Google Scholar
  28. Meffe, G. K. & F. F. J. Snelson, 1989. Ecology and Evolution of Livebearing Fishes (Poeciliidae). Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.Google Scholar
  29. Meyer, A. & C. Lydeard, 1993. The evolution of copulatory organs, internal fertilization, placentae and viviparity in killifishes (Cyprinodontiformes) inferred from a DNA phylogeny of the tyrosine kinase gene x-src. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 254: 153–162.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Miller, R. R., 1979. Ecology, habits and relationships of the Middle American cuatro ojos, Anableps dowi (Pisces: Anablepidae). Copeia 1979: 82–91.Google Scholar
  31. Moller, O. O. J., P. Casting, J.-C. Salomon & P. Lazure, 2001. The influence of local and non-local forcing effects on the subtidal circulation of Patos Lagoon. Estuaries 24: 297–311.Google Scholar
  32. Morris, M. R. & M. J. Ryan, 1992. Breeding cycles in natural populations of Xiphophorus nigrensis, X. multilineatus, and X. pygmaeus. Copeia 4: 1074–1077.Google Scholar
  33. Ortubay, S., M. Lozada, & V. Cussac, 2002. Aggressive bahaviour between Gymnocharacinus bergi (Pisces, Characidae) and other Neotropical fishes from a thermal stream in Patagonia. Environmental Biology of Fishes 63: 341–346.Google Scholar
  34. Reznick, D. 1983. The structure of guppy life histories: the tradeoff between growth and reproduction. Ecology 64: 862–873.Google Scholar
  35. Reznick, D. N. & B. Braun, 1987. Fat cycling in the mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis): fat storage as a reproductive adaptation. Oecologia 73: 401–413.Google Scholar
  36. Rodd, F. H. & D. N. Reznick, 1997. Variation in the demography of guppy populations: the importance of predation and life histories. Ecology 78: 405–418.Google Scholar
  37. Seeliger, U., C. Odebrecht & J. P. Castello, 1996. Subtropical Convergence Environments: the Coast and Sea in the Southwestern Atlantic. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  38. Seeliger, U., 2001. The Patos Lagoon Estuary, Brazil. In Seeliger, U. & B. Kjerfve (eds), Coastal Marine Ecosystems of Latin America. Springer-Verlag, Berlin: 167–182.Google Scholar
  39. Vieira, J. P. & J. P. Castello, 1996. Fish fauna. In Seeliger, U., C. Odebrecht & J. P. Castello (eds), Subtropical Convergence Marine Ecosystem: The Coast and the Sea in the Warm Temperate Southwestern Atlantic. Springer-Verlag, New York: 56–61.Google Scholar
  40. Vooren, C. M., 1996. Bird fauna. In Seeliger, U., C. Odebrecht & J. P. Castello (eds), Subtropical Convergence Marine Ecosystem: The Coast and the Sea in the Warm Temperate Southwestern Atlantic. Springer-Verlag, New York: 62–63.Google Scholar
  41. Winemiller, K. O., 1992. Life-history strategies and the effectiveness of sexual selection. Oikos 63: 318–327.Google Scholar
  42. Winemiller, K. O., 1993. Seasonality of reproduction by livebearing fishes in tropical rainforest streams. Oecologia 95: 266–276.Google Scholar
  43. Wischnath, L., 1993. Atlas of Livebearers of the World. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey.Google Scholar
  44. Zar, J. H., 1996. Biostatistical Analysis. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandre M. Garcia
    • 1
  • João P. Vieira
    • 1
  • Kirk O. Winemiller
    • 2
  • Marcelo B. Raseira
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Oceanografia, Laboratório de IctiologiaFundação Universidade Federal de Rio GrandeRio Grande, RSBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Wildlife and Fisheries SciencesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationU.S.A

Personalised recommendations