Reproductive Biology of Vermiculated Sail Fin Cat Fish Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus in Victoria & Kalaweva Reservoirs in Sri Lanka
Pterigoplichthys disjunctivus had been accidentally or intentionally introduced to Sri Lankan freshwaters possibly through ornamental fish trade. P. disjunctivus native to South America has established populations in many water bodies in Sri Lanka including Victoria & Kalaweva reservoirs. Live specimens of the species were obtained from commercial catch from 2015 to 2017 & 2016 to 2017, from Victoria & Kalaweva reservoirs respectively. Total & standard lengths were measured to nearest 0.1cm and weighed to nearest 0.1g. and dissected to obtain the gonads which were preserved in 5% buffered formalin. A maturity scale was identified on the macroscopic/microscopic characteristics of gonads for both male and female by examining transparency, overall color, and vascularization, visibility of oocytes and size of gonads. Gonadosomatic (GSI) indices, total fecundity (TF) and relative fecundity (RF) were also studied. Mean gonad weight of females and males are 7.604±9.107 & 12.784±16.699 in Victoria and 0.5162±0.5373 & 0.9012±1.0778 in Kalawewa, respectively. Mean GSI for females and males are 0.04109±0.05220 & 0.04361±0.05042 in Victoria and 0.002347±0.002105 & 0.002362±0.001914 in Kalawewa, respectively. Mean fecundity was 956±261 in Victoria & 1856±817 in Kalawewa, respectively. Mean relative fecundity was 4.3783±1.3242 in Victoria & 6.564±2.841 in Kalawewa. Mean egg diameter was 1712±955.8 in Victoria & 1747±884.8, in Kalawewa, respectively. P. disjunctivus shows extended peak reproductive period from April to October. Harvesting this species during its spawning season may aid in controlling population size.
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