Fisheries Research Articles

Age and size compositions, habitats, growth and reproductive characteristics of a terapontid (Pelates octolineatus) in coastal waters

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

Marine and Freshwater Research


Print: 1323-1650 Electronic: 1448-6059


Grunters, movements, seagrass, sine curve-based seasonal growth model, south-western Australia.


Aquaculture and Fisheries | Marine Biology


This study of Pelates octolineatus is the first to use individually aged fish to describe the life cycle of a terapontid, a speciose and abundant Indo-West Pacific family. On the lower west Australian coast, this species uses dense seagrass as a nursery area and, after ~1 year of life when approaching 100 mm in total length (TL), moves into deeper waters over sparser seagrass where it matures at the end of its second year at ~140–170 mm. The maximum TL and age were 256 mm and 10 years. A modified von Bertalanffy curve, allowing for a linear increase in the growth coefficient with age, improved the fit to the lengths at age of older P. octolineatus. Growth was even better described by extending this model to allow for seasonality through incorporating a sine-based curve. This model described well the seasonality exhibited by modal progressions in monthly length–frequency distributions. Instantaneous growth rates, particularly of the youngest age classes, peaked in the warm, summer months and the amplitude of seasonal change in these rates declined with increasing age. Gonadal recrudescence occurred in early spring as temperature and day length increased and spawning peaked in late-spring to mid-summer when temperatures were approaching their maxima.



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