Revista de Biología Tropical ISSN Impreso: 0034-7744 ISSN electrónico: 2215-2075

Early development in the mouth-brooding cichlid fish Satanoperca pappaterra (Perciformes: Cichlidae)

How to Cite

Lopes, T. M. (2015). Early development in the mouth-brooding cichlid fish Satanoperca pappaterra (Perciformes: Cichlidae). Revista De Biología Tropical, 63(1), 139–153.


The Neotropical region exhibits the largest diversity of fish worldwide; however, little is known about the early development of fish species from this region. Therefore, to contribute to this knowledge, this study aimed to morphologically describe the early stages of development (eggs, larvae and juveniles) of S. pappaterra using morphometric and meristic traits, and to assess changes in growth rates throughout larval and juvenile development by analyzing the relationships between various morphometric traits using analytical regression models. Both juvenile and adult individuals with mouth-brooded offspring were collected along the basins of the Cuiabá and Manso Rivers in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil between March 2000 and March 2004. After the adults were identified, the offspring were classified according to its stage (embryonic, larval or juvenile period), and various morphometric and meristic variables were individually measured (when possible). The eggs of this species are yellow in color, oval shaped, show dendritic pigmentation within their yolk, have small to moderately sized perivitelline spaces and lack a mucous membrane and oil droplets. The horizontal and vertical diameters of the sample yolks ranged from 1.43mm to 2.70mm and 1.05mm to 1.68mm, respectively. The standard length of the larval period varied from 4.30mm to 7.16mm, and the standard length of the juvenile period varied from 10.29mm to 24.57mm. Larvae exhibit yolk sacs with internal dendritic pigmentation and dark punctate pigmentation in the dorsal and ventral body regions, whereas irregular transverse spots along the flanks are observed during the juvenile period. Adhesive organs are only present during the yolk-sac stage and at the beginning of the flexion stage. The mouth is terminal during all stages of development. The myomere number varied from 22 to 29 (9 to 16 pre-anal and 10 to 16 post-anal), and the maximal numbers of fin rays and spines were as follows: dorsal, XVI+10; anal, IV+8; pectoral, 16; and pelvic, I+8. Growth analyses identified periods of important change in larval morphology (i.e., metamorphosis), particularly during the flexion and post-flexion stages and in juveniles. Therefore, the morphological development of S. pappaterra is consistent with the ecological requirements of this species, which primarily occurs in structured lentic environments with aquatic macrophytes.



Taise Miranda Lopes1, Fernando Garcia de Oliveira1, Andréa Bialetzki1,2 & Angelo Antonio Agostinho1,2

1.         Universidade Estadual de Maringá (UEM), Departamento de Biologia (DBI), Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia de Ambientes Aquáticos Continentais (PEA), Av. Colombo, 5790, CEP 87020-900, Maringá, Paraná, Brazil;,

2.         Núcleo de Pesquisa em Ictiologia, Limnologia e Aquicultura (NUPELIA), Av. Colombo, 5790, Bloco H90, CEP 87020-900, Maringá, Paraná, Brazil;,


Ahlstrom, E. H., & Ball, O. P. (1954). Description of eggs and larvae of jack mackerel (Trachurus symmetricus) and distribution and abundance of larvae in 1950 and 1951. Fisheries Bulletin, 56, 209-245.

Ahlstrom, E. H., Butler, J. L., & Sumida, B. Y. (1976). Pelagic stromateoid fishes (Pisces, Perciformes) of the Eastern Pacific: kinds, distributions, and early life histories and observations of live of these from the northwest Atlantic. Bulletin of Marine Science, 40(3), 285-402.

Alves, F. C. M, Rojas, N. E. T., & Romagosa, E. (2009). Reprodução do “ciclídeo-anão amazônico”, Apistogramma cacatuoides, Hoedeman, 1951 (Perciformes: Cichlidae) em laboratório. Boletim do Instituto de Pesca, 35(4), 587-596.

Bialetzki, A., Sanches, P. V., Baumgartner, G., & Nakatani, K. (1998). Caracterização morfológica e distribuição temporal de larvas e juvenis de Apareiodon affinis (Steindachner 1879) (Osteichthyes, Parodontidae) no alto do rio Paraná (PR). Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, 15(4), 1037-1047.

Cabrera, J., Murillo, R., & Mora, M. (1988). Desarrollo embrionario, larval y del alevín de Cichlasoma dovii (Günther, 1864) (Pisces: Cichlidae). Revista de Biologia Tropical, 36(2B): 417-422.

Casatti, L., Mendes, H. F., & Ferreira, K. M. (2003). Aquatic macrophytes as feeding site for small fishes in the Rosana Reservoir, Paranapanema River, Southeastern Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology, 63(2), 213-222.

Cassemiro, F. A. S., Rangel, T. F. L. V. B., Pelicice, F. M., & Hahn, N. S. (2008). Allometric and ontogenetic patterns related to feeding of a neotropical fish, Satanoperca pappaterra (Perciformes, Cichlidae). Ecology of Freshwater Fish, 17, 155-164.

Fishelson, L. (1995). Cytological and morphological ontogenesis and involution of the thymus in cichlid fishes (Cichlidae, Teleostei). Journal of Morphology, 233, 175-190.

Fujimura, K., & Okada, N. (2007). Development of the embryo, larva and early juvenile of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus (Pisces: Cichlidae). Developmental staging system. Development, Growth and Differentiation, 49, 301-324.

Gatz Jr., A. J. (1979). Ecological morphology of freshwater stream fishes. Tulane Studies in Zoology and Botany, 21, 91-124.

Godinho, H. P., Santos, J. E., & Sato, Y. (2003). Ontogênese larval de cinco espécies de peixes do São Francisco. In H. P. Godinho, & A. L. Godinho (Eds.), Águas, peixes e pescadores do São Francisco das Minas Gerais (pp. 133-148). Belo Horizonte: PUC Minas.

Holden, K. K., & Bruton, M. N. (1992). A life-history approach to the early ontogeny of the Mozambique tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus (Pisces, Cichlidae). South African Journal of Zoology, 27(4), 173-191.

Jones, A. J. (1972). The early development of substrate-brooding cichlids with a discussion of a new system of staging. Journal of Morphology, 136, 255-272.

Korzelecka-Orkisz, A., Szalast, Z., Pawlos, D., Smaruj, I., Tañski, A., Szulc, J., & Formicki, K. (2012). Early ontogenesis of the angelfish, Pterophyllum scalare Schultze, 1823 (Cichlidae). Neotropical Ichthyology, 10(3), 567-576.

Kovàc, V., Copp, G. H., & Francis, M. P. (1999). Morphometry of the stone loach, Barbatula barbatula: do mensural characters reflect the species’ life history thresholds? Environmental Biology of Fishes, 56, 105-115.

Kullander, S. O. (1998). A phylogeny and classification of the South American Cichlidae (Teleostei: Perciformes). In L. R. Malabarba, R. E. Reis, R. P. Vari, Z. M. S. Lucena, & C. A. S. Lucena (Eds.), Phylogeny and classification of Neotropical fishes (pp. 461-498). Porto Alegre: Edipucrs.

Kullander, S. O. (2003). Family Cichlidae. In R. E. Reis, S. O. Kullander, & C. J. Ferraris Jr. (Eds), Check list of the freshwater fishes of South and Central America (pp.605-654). Porto Alegre: Edipurcs.

Kuwamura, T., & Mihigo, N. K. (1988). Early ontogeny of a substrate-brooding cichlid, Boulengerochromis microlepis, compared with mouthbrooding species in Lake Tanganyika. Physiology and Ecology Japan, 25, 19-25.

Leis, J. M., & Trnski, T. (1989). The larvae of Indo-Pacific shorefishes. New South Wales University Press, Sydney and University Press of Hawaii, Honolulu.

Machado-Allison, A. (1987). Los peces de los llanos de Venezuela: un ensayo sobre su historia natural. Caracas: Universidad Central de Venezuela, Consejo de Desarrollo Científico y Humanístico.

Martínez, S. G. A., & Murillo, S. R. E. (1987). Desarrollo larval de Cichlasoma nogrofasciatum (Günther), 1868 (Pisces: Cichlidae) em cultivos em laboratório. Revista de Biología Tropical, 35(1), 113-119.

Meijide, F. J., & Guerrero, G. A. (2000). Embryonic and larval development of substrate-brooding cichlid Ciclhasoma dimerus (Heckel, 1840) under laboratory conditions. Journal of Zoology, 252, 481-493.

Molina, A. (2008). Desarrollo larval de Amphilophus rostratus (Gill 1877) (Pisces: Cichlidae) cultivados en laboratório. Brenesia, 70, 47-52.

Molina, A. (2010). Desarrollo larval de Amphilophus alfari (Meek 1907) (Pisces: Cichlidae) cultivados en laboratório. Brenesia, 73-74, 103-107.

Molina, A. (2011). Larval development of Hypsophrys nicaraguensis (Pisces: Cichlidae) under laboratory conditions. Revista de Biologia Tropical, 59(4), 1679-1684.

Nakatani, K., Agostinho, A. A., Baumgartner, G., Bialetzki, A., Sanches, P. V., Makrakis, M. C., & Pavanelli, C. S. (2001). Ovos e larvas de peixes de água doce: desenvolvimento e manual de identificação. Maringá: EDUEM.

Nakatani, K., Baumgartner, G., & Cavicchioli, M. (1997). Ecologia de ovos e larvas de peixes. In A. E. A. M. Vazzoler, A. A. Agostinho, & N. S. Hahn (Eds.), A planície de inundação do Alto Rio Paraná: aspectos físicos, biológicos e econômicos (pp. 281-306). Maringá: EDUEM.

Nakatani, K., Bialetzki, A., Baumgartner, G., Sanches, P. V., & Makrakis, M. C. (2004). Temporal and spatial dynamics of fish eggs and larvae. In S. M. Thomaz, A. A. Agostinho, & N. S. Hahn (Eds.), The upper Paraná river and its floodplain: physical aspects, ecology and conservation (pp. 293-308). Leiden: Backhuys Publichers.

Nascimento, F. L., & Araújo-Lima, C. A. R. M. (1993). Descrição de larvas de Psectrogaster amazonica e Potamorhina altamazonica (Curimatidae, Pisces) da Amazonia Central. Acta Amazonica, 23(4), 457-472.

Oliveira, F. G., Bialetzki, A., Gomes, L. C., Santin, M., & Taguti, T. L. (2012). Desenvolvimento larval de Brycon hilarii (Characiformes, Characidae). Iheringia, Série Zoologia, 102(1), 62-70.

Paes, M. C. F., Makino, L. C., Vasquez, L. A., Fernandes, J. B., & Nakaghi, L. S. O. (2011). Early development of Astronotus ocellatus under stereomicroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Zygote, 20, 269-276.

Puigcerver, M. (2007). Evolución del patrón de coloración melánica em los primeros estadios de desarrollo de la mojarra, Archocentrus myrnae Loiselle, 1997 (Perciformes: Cichlidae). Orsis, 22, 35-44.

Ribbink, A. J. (1990). Alternative life-history styles of some African cichlid fishes. Environmental Biology of fishes, 28, 87-100.

Sokal, R. R., & Rohlf, F. J. (1981). Biometry. The principles and practice of statistics in biological research. New York: W. H. Freenan and Company.

Vazzoler, A. E. A. M. 1996. Biologia da reprodução de peixes teleósteos: teoria e prática. Maringá: EDUEM; São Paulo: SBI.



Download data is not yet available.