Validation of the Daily Otolith Incremental Growth in the Aging and Growth Rate Determinations of Three Hawaiian Fish
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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