Validation of the Daily Otolith Incremental Growth in the Aging and Growth Rate Determinations of Three Hawaiian Fish
Clarke, Amy C.
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Otoliths, found in the inner ears of all teleost fish, assist in balance and hearing. These structures can be used as a method to age fish. A new increment growth on each otolith is laid down daily in some species, similar to the yearly growth rings in trees. Through a tetracycline marking technique, the timing of increment formation was studied for the three Hawaiian species, Dascyllus albisella, Foa brachyqramma and Dendrochirus barberi. From the study, each of the species showed a new incremental growth, each day. The otoliths were marked with a l2-hour tetracycline (Tel) soaking treatment, then the fish were allowed to live for 4 days after the treatment, feeding of live brine shrimp. Under an epi-flourescent microscope, partial flourescent increments were observable for all but one otolith in the study, indicating the day of the Tcl treatment. The otoliths in fact were determined to grow a new increment layer each day. Average rates of growth were calculated, and comparisons of the species showed some significant growth rate differences.
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