Reproductive biology of two sympatric species of tooth-carps: Aphanius hormuzensis and Aphanius furcatus, from south of Iran (Teleostei: Aphaniidae)

Mojtaba Masoudi, Hamid Reza Esmaeili, Mehrgan Ebrahimi, Azad Teimori, Mahvash Seifali


Some aspects of the reproductive biology of two endemic tooth-carps, Aphanius hormuzensis and A. furcatus, from southern Iran, were studied by regular monthly collections throughout one year. Significant differences were observed between the total number of females and males, females being more abundant. Based on the pattern of reproductive indices including the gonado-somatic index and Dobriyal Index, it was concluded that these fishes spawn in April and May. The estimated absolute fecundity of A. hormuzensis ranged from 78 (TL = 32.2 mm) to 730 (TL = 51.1 mm), with a mean value of 219.78±66.50 oocytes per fish based on 15 females. The relative fecundity ranged from 68.45 to 518.54 oocytes/g body mass (Mean±S.D: 237.67±96.87 oocytes/g). For A. furcatus, the estimated absolute fecundity ranged from 53 (TL = 26.9 mm) to 102 (TL = 32.04 mm), with a mean value of 93.73±45.37 oocytes per fish based on 15 females. The relative fecundity ranged from 22.41 to 123.65 oocytes/g body mass (Mean±S.D: 64.98±23.37 oocytes/g). Due to overlapping of spawning season in these two sympatric species, it seems that other pre- and post-zygotic factors are responsible for absence of natural hybrids in the studies tooth-carps in the Mehran River.


Reproductive indices, Fecundity, Spawning season, Sex ratio, Sexual dimorphism.

Full Text:



Al-Daham N.K. (1977). Fishes of Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Volume 1. Squaliformes to Atheriniformes. Publication 9, Centre for Arab Gulf Studies, University of Basrah, Iraq. 546 p. (In Arabic)

Bagenal T.B. (1967). A short review of fish fecundity. In: S.D. Gerking (Ed.). The Biological Basis of Freshwater Fish Production, Oxford. pp: 89-111.

Bibak M., Rakhshani M., Hosseini S.A., Koohani M., Moein M. (2012). Reproduction of Aphanius dispar dispar (Rüppell, 1829) in Dalaki River, Bushehr, south of Iran. World Journal of Fish and Marine Sciences, 4: 594-596.

Coad B.W. (2017). Freshwater Fishes of Iran. ( Retrieve 1 December 2017.

Darwin C.R. (1871). The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. John Murray, London.

Dobriyal A.K., Rautela K.K., Rautela A.S. (1999). Invention of a new index for the determination of sexual maturity in fishes. Uttar Pradesh Journal of Zoology, 19: 207-209.

El-Hawawi A.S.N., Al-Imam M.S.E. (1984). Oöcyte differentiation and yolk formation in the Arabian barred fish Aphanius dispar. Journal of the College of Science, King Saud University, 15: 443-452.

Esmaeili H.R., Shiva A.H. (2006). Reproductive biology of Persian tooth-carp, Aphanius persicus (Jenkis, 1910) (Actinopterygii: Cyprinodontidae) in South of Iran. Zoology in the Middle East, 37: 39-46.

Esmaeili H.R., Teimori A., Gholami Z., Reichenbacher B. (2014). Two new species of the tooth-carp Aphanius (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae) and the evolutionary history of the Iranian inland and inland-related Aphanius species. Zootaxa, 3786: 246-268.

Esmaeili H.R., Asrar T., Gholamifard A. (2018a). Cyprinodontid fishes of the world: an updated list of taxonomy, distribution and conservation status (Teleostei: Cyprinodontoidea). Iranian Journal of Ichthyology, 5: 1-29.

Esmaeili H.R., Sayyadzadeh G., Eagderi S., Abbasi A. (2018b). Checklist of freshwater fishes of Iran. FishTaxa, 3: 1-95.

Fleming I.A., Gross M.R. (1990). Latitudinal clines: a trade-off between egg number and size in Pacific salmon. Ecology, 71: 1-11.

Freyhof J., Weissenbacher A., Geiger M. (2017). Aphanius kruppi, a new killifish from Oman with comments on the A. dispar species group (Cyprinodontiformes: Aphaniidae). Zootaxa, 4338: 557-573.

Froese R. (2006). Cube law, condition factor and weight–length relationships: history, meta-analysis and recommendations. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 22: 241-253.

Hrbek T., Meyer A. (2003). Closing of the Tethys Sea and the phylogeny of Eurasian killifishes (Cyprino-dontiformes: Cyprinodontidae). Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 16: 17-36.

Jonsson N., Jonsson B. (1999). Trade-off between egg mass and egg number in brown trout. Journal of Fish Biology, 55: 767-783.

Kosswig C. (1955). Zoogeography of the Near East. Systematic Biology, 4: 49-73.

Leonardos I., Sinis A. (1998). Reproductive strategy of Aphanius fasciatus Nardo, 1827 (Pisces: Cyprinodontidae) in the Mesolongi and Etolikon lagoons (W. Greece). Fisheries Research, 35: 171-181.

Masoudi M., Esmaeili H.R., Teimori A., Gholami Z., Gholamhosseini A., Sayyadzadeh G., Keivany Y., Reichenbacher B. (2016). Sympatry and possible hybridization among species of the killifish genus Aphanius Nardo, 1827 (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae) in Southwestern Iran. Limnologica-Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, 59: 10-20.

Morita K., Takashima Y. (1998). Effect of female size on fecundity and egg size in white-spotted charr: Comparison between sea-run and resident forms. Journal of Fish Biology, 53: 1140-1142.

Murphy B.R., Willis D.W. (1996). Fisheries techniques. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda.

Nikolsky G.V. (1963). The Ecology of Fishes, Academic Press, New York. 352 p.

Robards M.D., Piatt J.F., Rose G.A. (1999). Maturation, fecundity and intertidal spawning of pacific and lance in the northern Gulf of Alaska. Journal of Fish Biology, 54: 1050-1068

Sedlácek O., Baciaková B., Kratochvílet L. (2014). Evolution of body colouration in killifishes (Cyprinodontiformes: Aplocheilidae, Nothobranch-iidae, Rivulidae): Is male ornamentation constrained by intersexual genetic correlation? Zoologischer Anzeiger - A Journal of Comparative Zoology, 253: 207-215.

Shafi M., Shalli M.R. (1986). On the taxonomy, distribution and ecology of genus Aphanius Nardo (Cypriniformes (sic): Cyprinodontidae) of Iraq. Bangladesh Journal of Zoology, 14: 129-133.

Teimori A., Esmaeili H.R., Erpenbeck D., Reichenbacher B. (2014). A new and unique species of the genus Aphanius Nardo, 1827 (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae) from Southern Iran: A case of regressive evolution. Zoologischer Anzeiger-A Journal of Comparative Zoology, 253: 327-337.

Teimori A., Esmaeili H.R., Hamidan N., Reichenbacher B. (2018). Systematics and historical biogeography of the Aphanius dispar species group (Teleostei: Aphaniidae) and description of a new species from Southern Iran. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research. (

Thorpe J.E., Miles M.S., Keay D.S. (1984). Developmental rate, fecundity and egg size in Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L. Aquaculture, 43: 289-305.

Zare P., Naderi M., Asghari S. (2015). Reproductive biology of the Geno hot spring tooth-carp (Aphanius ginaonis Holly, 1929) in southern Iran. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 98: 1365-1371.


  • There are currently no refbacks.