Salinity and spawning of nurseryfish, Kurtus gulliveri, in the Adelaide River of northern Australia with notes on electrofishing and photos of a male carrying eggs

Tim M. Berra, Dion Wedd

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Nurseryfish are unique among fishes in that the males carry the fertilized eggs on a supraoccipital hook on their head. In an attempt to learn where, when, and at what salinities spawning occurs, an ichthyoplankton net was towed at 14 stations in the Adelaide River from the mouth (38 ppt) to the most upstream sections of the river (0.1 ppt). Larval nurseryfish (5–27.5 mm SL) were collected, preserved and measured, and water chemistry parameters were recorded with each sample. Larvae were found in the mid-reaches of the river during July–October, most commonly at salinities between 13.6–0.5 ppt. Salinities increased as the dry season progressed. Larvae were not taken at salinities higher than 19 ppt, nor did they occur in the upper-most reaches of the river system during this time of the dry season. What nurseryfish do and where they occur during the massive influx of freshwater runoff during the wet season (November–April) remains a mystery. Electrofishing for nurseryfish proved to be ineffective in the Adelaide River due to its extraordinary turbidity which made recovery of stunned fish difficult and fresh material of males carrying eggs remains elusive. Two historic photographs showing males carrying eggs are described.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)959-967
    Number of pages9
    JournalEnvironmental Biology of Fishes
    Volume100
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

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