Age and growth of the gulf toadfish Opsanus beta based on otolith increment analysis

E. Malca, J. F. Barimo, J. E. Serafy, P. J. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In the present study, sagittal otoliths of confirmed male and female specimens of the gulf toadfish Opsanus beta that were collected monthly over the course of a year from Biscayne Bay, Florida, U.S.A. were analysed. The timing and frequency of O. beta spawning seasons are reported by examination of the gonado-somatic index. The estimated ages of males and females ranged from < 1 year to 6 and 5 years, respectively. Strong sexual dimorphism in growth was apparent with von Bertalanffy parameter estimates for males of L = 393·8 mm, K = 0·30, t0 = 0·36 and females of L = 201·1 mm, K = 0·79, t0 = 0·47. Comparison with previously published growth trajectories of the more northerly distributed conspecific Opsanus tau showed that O. beta males had a higher growth rate. Female O. beta and O. tau growth trajectories appear similar, with an indication that the former becomes asymptotic at least a year before the latter. Results are discussed in the context of temperature regimes, reproductive energy allocation and waste urea excretion in the two species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1750-1761
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Age determination
  • Ureotely
  • Von Bertalanffy growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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