Control of gonadal maturation and regression by experimental variation of environmental factors in the mormyrid fish, Mormyrus rume proboscirostris

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We used spawning, external appearance of the females and in part histology of gonads of the African mormyrid fish Mormyrus rume proboscirostris to evaluate the reaction of the fish to experimental variation of environmental factors. Conductivity changes are sufficient to induce gonadal maturation (decrease of conductivity) and regression (increase of conductivity), respectively. Increase of water level and simulation of rain at constant conductivity values did not induce gonadal maturation and spawning. Neither males nor females of M. rume proboscirostris showed postbreeding refractoriness. Social stress apparently prevented complete gonadal maturation and successful spawning. The females laid on average 364 eggs per fractional spawning; the spawning intervals were 21 days. Hatching rate amounted to about 40% in all experiments taken together.

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