Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Hydrobiol, State Key Lab Freshwater Ecol & Biotechnol, Wuhan 430072, Peoples R China
Age, growth, and reproduction of the bitterling, Paracheilognathus imberbis (Gunther), in Niushan Lake were studied between 1998 and 1999. Annuli on the scales were clear and could be used as valid indicators of age. The population of the fish comprised only one age group. The growth rate of males was markedly greater than that of females. The fish were multiple spawners, reaching maturity in the second year. Minimum size for males at maturity was 32.9 mm in total length and 0.30 g in weight; for females, the minima were 41.0 mm and 0.73 g. During the breeding season, both sexes exhibited secondary sex characteristics, and the ratio of males to females was 1: 1.04 (n = 104). The size of mature eggs averaged 3.12 mm in length by 1.03 mm. in width. Fecundity per female for one age group ranged from 38 to 189 eggs, with an average of 93 eggs (n = 80).