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J Exp Zool. 2000 Feb 1;286(2):204-11.

Environmental regulation of annual reproductive cycle in the mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Faculty of Education, Gifu University, Gifu 501-1193, Japan.


To clarify the environmental factors regulating the annual reproductive cycle of the female mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, a viviparous teleost, histological changes of the ovary in natural population, and laboratory experiments were examined. The results, extending over two years, suggested that ovarian recrudescence is initiated by the rise in temperature during spring and that ovarian regression is caused by the shorter daylength during late summer. The first rearing experiments using four photoperiod-temperature groups to investigate the factors triggering the onset of reproduction revealed that females with regressing ovaries began reproduction with the rise of temperature regardless of the photoperiod during spring. The results of the second experiment using three different temperature groups indicated that vitellogenesis occurred at over 14 degrees C and pregnancy at over 18 degrees C. The third experiment with four photoperiod-temperature groups was arranged to investigate the factors in the cessation of reproduction. Sexually active females ceased vitellogenesis of the next clutch of oocytes due to the shorter daylength regardless of temperatures during late summer; however, temperature seemed to influence the rate of embryo development. The critical photoperiod is estimated at about 12.5 hr. In nature, it is supposed that vitellogenesis starts when the temperature rises to about 14 degrees C, and final maturation of oocytes occurs when the temperature reaches about 18 degrees C during spring. Then, vitellogenesis of the next clutch of oocytes ceases when the daylength becomes shorter than 12.5 hr during late summer; the last gestation proceeds at a rate dependent on the temperature, and finally reproduction ends by the last parturition. J. Exp. Zool. 286:204-211, 2000.

Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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