Assessment of Growth Zones of Otoliths in Sperata Aor (Bagridae) Inhabiting the River Ganga, India

Assessment of Growth Zones of Otoliths in Sperata Aor (Bagridae) Inhabiting the River Ganga, India

The present study was undertaken with the objective to assess the clarity of growth zones on whole and thin-sectioned otoliths in  Sperata aor.  

SNrk2s1.jpgA total of 125 sagittal otoliths of  S. aor  were collected monthly from the river Ganga during the period, April to December 2013 at Narora, Uttar Pradesh, India. Thin sections (approximately 0.5 mm) of one of the sagittal otoliths of each fish were cut using IsoMet® Low Speed Saw.

Both whole otoliths and thin-sectioned otoliths were then examined under stereozoom microscope. Parameters of agreement on growth zones were calculated by comparing the number of growth zones obtained independentlyby the two readers (R1 and R2) from the two methods (whole otolith and thin-sectioned otolith method).

Thin-sectioned otolith method exhibited higher agreement than whole otolith method based on linear regression analysis and growth zones bias plot. Between readers, higher agreement was noted for reader 1 than reader 2, plausibly due to his relatively more experience in examining the growth zones on the otoliths.

However, both readers reported independently that the growth zones were clearer on thin sections than on whole otoliths especially those from older individuals. Thus, it may be concluded that the thin-sectioned otolith method should be utilized for assessment of growth zones in  S. aor  populations from the river Ganga.