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Development of oocytes in a post-spawning Japanese eel Anguilla japonica Temminck & Schlegel in captivity

By Satoru Tanaka, Akihiro Okamura, Naomi Mikawa, Yoshiaki Yamada, Noriyuki Horie, Tomoko Utoh, Huan Zhang, Hideo P. Oka, Katsumi Tsukamoto

Posted 13 Dec 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/494435

It is generally believed that parent freshwater eels (Anguilla sp.) die soon after spawning on the assumption that eels are a semelparous (or monocyclic) fish (spawn once at the last stage of life) like Pacific salmonids. However, we observed for the first time a post-spawning female Anguilla japonica again possessed developing oocytes reaching the final maturation stage in captivity five months after the last spawning even without hormonal treatment. Here we describe information on this female about its biological characteristics including gonadal histology and endocrine profiles. The data suggest that lowering water temperature for a period of time is one of the important factors influencing spontaneous gonadal development in this specimen. We also discuss the possibility of induced multiple spawning of this species in captivity.

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