Variability of Otolith Morphology and Morphometry in Eight Juvenile Fish Species in the Coastal Eastern Adriatic

Open access


Sagittae otoliths of eight juvenile species: Boops boops, Diplodus vulgaris, Diplodus puntazzo, Sarpa salpa (family Sparidae), Liza ramada, Liza aurata (family Mugilidae), Atherina boyeri, Atherina hepsetus (family Atherinidae) were analysed and compared using descriptive morphological characters and morphometric indices. The noticeable differences among the otoliths of the investigated species are in their overall shape, margins (i.e. irregular, sinuate or crenate) and anterior region. Otolith shape varied from elliptic to pentagonal in sparids, elliptic to rectangular in mugilids and elliptic in two atherinids. Aspect ratio (OW/OL), ratio of the sulcus length occupied by the cauda length (CL/SL) and ratio of the sulcus length occupied by the ostium length (OSL/SL) were calculated for all species. The otolith contour was described using wavelets. The Canonical Analysis of Principal Coordinates (CAP) gave an overview of the otolith shape differentiation between eight juveniles. Using the Wavelet coefficients, the first principal component (CAP1) explained 58.1% of the variation among species and the second principal component (CAP2) 25.2%.

Anderson, M. J., Willis, T. J. (2003): Canonical analysis of principal coordinates: A useful method of constrained ordination for ecology. Ecology, 84, 511-525.

Bani, A., Poursaeid, S., Tuset, V. M. (2013): Comparative morphology of the sagittal otolith in three species of south Caspian gobies. Journal of Fish Biology, 82, 1321-1332.

Bartulović, V., Glamuzina, B., Lučić, D., Conides, A., Jasprica, N., Dulčić, J. (2007): Recruitment and food composition of juvenile thin-lipped grey mullet, Liza ramada (Risso, 1826), in the Neretva River estuary (Eastern Adriatic, Croatia). Acta Adriatica, 48, 1, 25-37.

Bose, A., Adragna, J., Balshine, S. (2017): Otolith morphology varies between populations, sexes, and male alternative reproductive tactics in a vocal toadfish Porichthys notatus. Journal of Fish Biology, 90, 1, 311-325.

Bremm, C. Q., Schulz, U. H. (2014): Otolith atlas of fish of the Sinos River. Brazilian Journal of Biology, 74, 2, 274-282.

Campana, S. E. (2004): Photographic Atlas of Fish Otoliths of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Ottawa (Ontario), NRC Research Press. 284pp.

Capoccioni, F., Costa, C., Aguzzi, J., Menesatti, P., Lombarte, A., Ciccotti, E. (2011): Ontogenetic and environmental effects on otolith shape variability in three Mediterranean European eel (Anguilla anguilla, L.) local stocks. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 397, 1, 1-7.

Cruz, A., Lombarte, A. (2004): Otolith size and its relationship with colour pattern and sound production. Journal of Fish Biology, 65, 6, 1512-1525.

Duarte-Neto, P., Lessa, R., Stosic, B., Morize, E. (2008): The use of sagittal otoliths in discriminating stocks of common dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) off northeastern Brazil using multishape descriptors. Journal of Marine Science, 65, 7, 1144-1152.

Dulčić, J., Fencil, M., Matić-Skoko, S., Kraljević, M., Glamuzina, B. (2004): Diel catch variations in a shallow-water fish assemblage at Duće Glava, eastern Adriatic (Croatian Coast). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 84, 659-664.

Froese, R., Pauly, D. (2017): FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication., version (10/2017).

Gagliano, M., McCormick, M. I. (2004): Feeding history influences otolith shape in tropical fish. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 278, 291-296.

Graps, A. (1995): An Introduction to Wavelets. IEEE Computational Science & Engineering, 2, 50-61.

Hüssy, K. (2008): Otolith shape in juvenile cod (Gadus morhua): Ontogenetic and environmental effects. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 364, 35-41.

Jardas, I. (1996): Jadranska ihtiofauna. Zagreb, Školska knjiga. 533pp.

Jawad, L. A., Hoedemakers, K., Ibáñez, A., Ahmed, Y., Abu El-Regal, M., Mehanna, S. (2017a): Morphology study of the otoliths of the parrotfish, Chlorurus sordidus (Forsskål, 1775) and Hipposcarus harid (Forsskål, 1775) from the Red Sea coast of Egypt (Family: Scaridae). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 1-10, doi:10.1017/S0025315416002034.

Jawad, L. A., Sabatino, G., Ibáñez, A. L., Andaloro, F., Battaglia, P. (2017b): Morphology and ontogenetic changes in otoliths of the mesopelagic fishes Ceratoscopelus maderensis (Myctophidae), Vinciguerria attenuata and V. poweriae (Phosichthyidae) from the Strait of Messina (Mediterranean Sea). Acta Zoologica, 00, 1-17.

Libungan, L. A., Pálsson, S. (2015a): ShapeR: Collection and Analysis of Otolith Shape Data, version 0.1-5. R package. Available:

Libungan, L. A., Pálsson, S. (2015b): ShapeR: An R Package to Study Otolith Shape Variation among Fish Populations. PLoS ONE 10(3):e0121102; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0121102.

Lombarte. A. (1992): Changes in otolith area: sensory area ratio with body size and depth. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 33, 405-410.

Lombarte, A., Lleonart, J. (1993): Otolith size changes related with body growth, habitat depth and temperature. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 37, 297-306.

Lombarte, A., Chic, Ò., Parisi-Baradad, V., Olivella, R., Piera, J., García-Ladona, E. (2006): A web-based environment from shape analysis of fish otoliths. The AFORO database. Scientia Marina, 70, 147-152.

Mendoza, R. P. R. (2006): Otoliths and their applications in fishery science. Ribarstvo, 64, 89-102.

Montanini, S., Stagioni, M., Valdrè, G., Tommasini, S., Vallisneri M. (2015): Intra-specific and inter-specific variability of the sulcus acusticus of sagittal otoliths in two gurnard species (Scorpaeniformes, Triglidae). Fisheries Research, 161, 93-101.

Oksanen, J., Blanchet, F. G., Kindt, R., Legendre, P., Minchin, P. R., O›Hara, R. B., et al. (2013): Vegan: Community Ecology Package, version 2.0–7. R package. Available:

Paxton, J. R. (2000): Fish otoliths: Do sizes correlate with taxonomic group, habitat and/or luminescence? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B, 355, 1401, 1299-1303.

Ponton, D. (2006): Is geometric morphometrics efficient for comparing otolith shape of different fish species? Journal of Morphology, 267, 6, 750-757.

Pothin, K., Gonzalez-Salas, C., Chabanet, P., Lecomte-Finiger, R. (2006): Distinction between Mulloidichthys flavolineatus juveniles from Reunion Island and Mauritius Island (south-west Indian Ocean) based on otolith morphometrics. Journal of Fish Biology, 69, 38-53.

R Core Team. (2014): R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria. Available: R Foundation for Statistical Computing.

Smith, W. E., Kwak, T. J. (2014): A capture-recapture model of amphidromous fish dispersal. Journal of Fish Biology, 84, 897-912.

Škeljo, F., Ferri, J. (2011): The use of otolith shape and morphometry for identification and size-estimation of five wrasse species in predator-prey studies. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 28, 4, 524-530.

Škeljo, F., Brčić, J., Vuletin, V., Ferri, J. (2015): Age and growth of the axillary wrasse, Symphodus mediterraneus (L.) from the eastern Adriatic Sea. Marine Biology Research, 11, 780-784.

Tuset, V. M., Lombarte, A., González, J. A., Pertusa, J. F., Lorente, M. J. (2003): Comparative morphology of the sagittal otolith in Serranus spp. Journal of Fish Biology, 63, 6, 1491-504.

Tuset, V. M., Lombarte, A., Assis, C. A. (2008): Otolith atlas for the western Mediterranean, north and central eastern Atlantic. Scientia Marina, 72, 7-198.

Vasconcelos, J., Vieira, A. R., Sequeira, V., González, J. A., Kaufmann, M., Serrano Gordo, L. (2018): Identifying populations of the blue jack mackerel (Trachurus picturatus) in the Northeast Atlantic by using geometric morphometrics and otolith shape analysis. Fishery Bulletin, 116, 81-92.

Venables, W. N., Ripley, B. D. (2002): Modern Applied Statistics with S. Fourth Edition. Springer, New York. ISBN 0-387-95457-0.

Vignon, M. (2012): Ontogenetic trajectories of otolith shape during shift in habitat use: Interaction between otolith growth and environment. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 420-421, 26-32.

Vignon, M., Morat, F. (2010): Environmental and genetic determinant of otolith shape revealed by a non-indigenous tropical fish. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 411, 231-241.

Volpedo, A., Echeverría, D. D. (2003): Ecomorphological patterns of the sagitta in fish on the continental shelf off Argentine. Fisheries Research, 60, 2-3, 551-560.

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.80

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.296
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.687


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 33 33 4
PDF Downloads 19 19 2