Zoological Studies

Vol. 58, 2019

(update: 2020.01.02; 01.22)

The Reproductive Strategy of the Rare Minnow (Gobiocypris rarus) in Response to Starvation Stress

Liangxia Su1,2, Si Luo1,3, Ning Qiu1,2, Xiaoqin Xiong1,4, and Jianwei Wang1,*


1The Key Laboratory of Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, Hubei, China. E-mail:suliangxia027@126.com
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. E-mail: qiuning181@sina.com
3Power China Guiyang Engineering Corporation Limited, Guiyang, Guizhou, China. E-mail: luosi1234567@163.com
4Department of Life Science, Neijiang Normal University, Neijiang, Sichuan, China. *Correspondence: Tel: +86 027-68780033. Fax: +86 027-68780065. E-mail: wangjw@ihb.ac.cn (Wang)
E-mail: xiongxiaoqinxxq@163.com (Xiong)

Received 17 June 2019 / Accepted 27 December 2019
Communicated by Hin-Kiu Mok

Food abundance plays an important role in the reproduction of fish, especially multiple spawners. Multiple spawners can exhibit various biological strategies when under starvation stress. However, the reproductive strategy used in these fish species remains unknown. To explore whether rare minnows (Gobiocypris rarus) prioritize survival over current reproduction under starvation conditions, paired adult rare minnows were starved for 0, 5, 10, 15 d and their spawning activities were recorded. Anatomical and histological characteristics of unpaired adult rare minnows were examined during starvation and following re-feeding. It was found that only 30-70% of paired rare minnows spawned within 5 d after deprivation of food. Though spawning activity was suppressed by starvation, rare minnows starved for 0, 5, 10, and 15 d waited 3.89 0.78 d, 5.57 3.36 d, 5.83 5.15 d and 6.57 4.50 d, respectively, after re-feeding to resume spawning. The average inter-spawning interval and length until egg production of those starved for 15 d was 4.60 2.37 d and 139.1 67.9 d, respectively, when they spawned with rhythm, which were significantly different from those starved for 0 d (P < 0.05). Anatomical and histological data further revealed that late maturing oocytes degraded after 8 d of starvation, but the gonadosomatic index recovered to initial levels after 8 d of re-feeding. Thus, reproduction of rare minnows was markedly affected by starvation, but rapidly returned to normal upon re-feeding. These observations demonstrated that paired rare minnows prioritize survival by channeling energy from the liver and absorbing late maturing oocytes instead of continuing to reproduce under food deprivation condition.

Key words: Rare minnow, Starvation, Re-feeding, Reproductive strategy, Ecological implication.

Citation: Su L, Luo S, Qiu N, Xiong X, Wang J. 2020. The reproductive strategy of the rare minnow (Gobiocypris rarus) in response to starvation stress. Zool Stud 59:1. doi:10.6620/ZS.2020.59-01.