Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Artificially fertilized eggs and yolk-sac larvae of a freshwater tropical/subtropical fish Clarias gariepinus receiving no external food were incubated at 22, 25 and 28° C until full yolk resorption. Developmental time, size and matter composition (CHNS-O Analyzer and ashing) were assessed at egg fertilization, hatching and yolk resorption; respiration was measured every 4–5 h. The course of acceleration of C. gariepinus embryonic developmental rate with temperature (Q10dev) was compared over the temperature range to those of Cyprinus carpio and Oncorhynchus mykiss; they differed greatly, but were similar when compared on the basis of effective temperatures specific to each fish. Specific growth rates for energy (88, 150 and 183% per day at 22,25 and 28° C, respectively) as well as the conversion efficiencies of egg energy (64, 71 and 68%, respectively) and protein (71, 78 and 76%, respectively) in C. gariepinus larval tissues were higher than those known for the endogenous feeding period of coldwater and temperate fish species. In C. gariepinus at the end of yolk resorption, the carbon percentage and caloric values of dry weight, size (in terms of dry matter, minerals, protein and energy per larva) and transformation efficiencies were lowest at 22° C, highest at 25° C and had slightly decreased at 28° C. A tentative mechanism which leads to the positive or negative response of body size to temperature over the viable temperature range is defined.
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