Alternate Title

Feeding Habits and Sexual Dimorphism of the Violet Goby, Gobioides broussoneti Lacepede (Pisces: Gobiidae), in the Estuarine System of Tecolutla, Veracruz, Mexico

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Gobioides broussoneti were sampled in Silveña estuary, a branch of the Tecolutla estuary, Veracruz, Mexico, during 2 trips made between February 1998 and June 1999 to evaluate diet and sexual dimorphism. A total of 65 G. broussoneti ranging from 49–401 mm SL (0.7–124.2 g WW) were collected. There was a 1:1.2 sex ratio in favor of females. Seven food types were noted, with filamentous algae (25.4%) and detritus (21.3%) representing the principal food types. A 24 h feeding study revealed that this species feeds continuously throughout the day. The ovaries of all female G. broussoneti contained previtellogenic oocytes, characteristic of immature or regressed fish. In contrast, the lobular testis of the males contained late stages of spermatogenesis, suggesting that the fish examined were at the end of the reproductive season. Sexual dimorphism of G. broussoneti is distinguished by a small urogenital papilla, which is in the ventral region between the anal orifice and the anal fin origin. In the females it is short, blunt and has a yellow coloration; in males it is thin, pointed and has a smooth appearance. Only immature or regressed females were captured during this study indicating that G. broussoneti uses the Tecolutla estuary as a nursery and feeding ground. Questions about reproductive seasonality, ovarian development, and spawning of G. broussoneti need further investigation.

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