Journal of Marine Biology & Oceanography ISSN: 2324-8661

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Research Article, J Mar Biol Oceanogr Vol: 5 Issue: 3

Growth of the Bigeye Scad Selar crumenophthalmus (Teleostei:Carangidae) in Manzanillo Bay,Mexican Central Pacific

Elaine Espino-Barr1*, Manuel Gallardo-Cabello2, Marcos Puente-Gómez1 and Arturo Garcia-Boa1
1Instituto Nacional de Pesca, CRIP-Manzanillo. Playa Ventanas s/n, Manzanillo, Colima, México
2Instituto de Ciencias del Mary Limnología. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Av Ciudad Universitaria 3000, Col Copilco, México
Corresponding author : Elaine Espino-Barr
Instituto Nacional de Pesca, CRIPManzanillo. Playa Ventanas s/n, Manzanillo, Colima, CP 28200, Mexico
Tel: +523143323750
Fax: +523143323851
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: October 12, 2016 Accepted: November 08, 2016 Published: November 13, 2016
Citation: Espino-Barr E, Gallardo-Cabello M, Puente-Gómez M, Garcia-Boa A (2016) Growth of the Bigeye Scad Selar crumenophthalmus (Teleostei: Carangidae) in Manzanillo Bay, Mexican Central Pacific. J Mar Biol Oceanogr 5:3. doi: 10.4172/2324-8661.1000160


Growth of the Bigeye Scad Selar crumenophthalmus (Teleostei:Carangidae) in Manzanillo Bay,Mexican Central Pacific

Growth studies of fish species are important because they allow the description of the population structure by age groups and the calculation of the parameters of von Bertalanffy used, among other, in the formulation of maximum sustainable yield models and capture predictions. Selar crumenophthalmus is an appreciated species as bait for the marlin and sail fish fishing in the commercial and sport fisheries in Manzanillo. In other countries like the Philippines, it is consumed by the habitants. For this study organisms were collected from November 2012 to October 2013 with different gears. Values of total length (TL, cm), total weight (TW, g) and eviscerated weight (EW, g) were obtained of 230 individuals. Growth parameters were L∞=24.60 cm, k=0.662, t0=-0.247, TW∞=173.3 g, EW∞=154.8 g, and longevity A0.95=4.5 years. Average lengths for each age were: age 1=13.73 cm, age 2 19.04, age 3=21.73 and age 4=23.12. Growth indexes between weight and length were positive allometric b=3.232 with total weight and b=3.227 with eviscerated weight. Our results were compared to those of other authors in other geographic areas in Mexico and the world. S. crumenophthalmus is a fish with a short life cycle whose juveniles should be protected with a correct normativity.

Keywords: Growth parameters; Length weight relationship; Sagittae and asterisci; Von Bertalanffy equation


Growth parameters; Length weight relationship; Sagittae and asterisci; Von Bertalanffy equation


The big eye scad Selar crumenophthalmus Bloch, 1793, from the Carangidae family, is a small pelagic fish that forms schools with a circumtropical distribution. It is an important species as food for higher trophic level predators. But it is also very appreciated by Asiatic localities as daily food. In Mexico it is mostly used as bait in the fishing of higher pelagic fish as sail fish, marlin and dolphin fish. This species is captured with hooks, lines, beach seines trawls purse seines and traps. It is consumed fresh, dry salted [1]. FAO reported in 1999 a capture of 69,149 t. In the coasts of Colima, Mexico, the capture can reach 19.5 t, its price is very low, $5.00 Mexican pesos per kg ($0.26 US dollars).
Feeding habits of S. crumenophthalmus in the Reunion Islands (South Western Indian Ocean) were carried out by Roux and Conand [2]. Growth analysis on larvae and juveniles in captivity were published by Welch et al. [3]. Effects on the currents and daylight variations on the aggregations of this species were described by Capello et al. [4]. The data base of Fish Base [5] reports eleven studies with values on allometric indexes of the relationship between weight and length in 12 localities in different parts of the world. Also, this base provides information on the values of the growth constants of von Bertalanffy obtained by 16 authors in 24 localities of the world.
There is only one study related to the study of growth constants with von Bertalanffy equation with the periodical growth rings present in otoliths [6], and three other studies [7] considering daily growth increments on sagittae, to analyze growth.
The present study is the only one considering the study of growth of this species based on the analysis of the periodical growth rings in sagittae and asterisci.
According to this, the objectives of this study are: (a) to determine the time of formation of the growth rings, (b) to obtain the values of the allometric indexes of the weight-length relationship, (c) to calculate values of the growth constants of the von Bertalanffy equation, (d) to calculate longevity, (e) to compare growth parameters of this species from other areas in Mexico and the world.

Materials and Methods

From November 2012 to October 2013, 230 organisms of the bigeye scad Selar crumenopthalmus were taken directly from the commercial captures in Manzanillo and Santiago bays in Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico and taken to the laboratory of the Regional Fishery Research Center (CRIP). Organisms were captured with fixed trap-net, gill net, “robador” (hand line with five hooks), and pound net, to obtain a stratified sample which includes all the age groups and size classes.
In the laboratory, the data taken from each organism were: total length (TL, cm), standard length (SL, cm), height (He, cm), total weight (TW, g), eviscerated weight (EW, g), and sex. To compare the relation and morphometric differences between males and females, a one way variance analysis (anova) was carried out [8].
The time of the growth ring formation was determined, observing whether the borders had slow or fast growth rings. In every case, otoliths were observed by transparency with transmitted light; the hyaline (translucent) zone corresponds to the slow growth band and the opaque zone to the fast growth band, which is in contrast with reflected light [9].
The average length of each growth ring determined by the analysis of the sagittae and asterisci otoliths by Gallardo-Cabello et al. [10] was used to obtain the parameters of the growth equation of von Bertalanffy (1938). The observed values for sagittae and asterisci were: for age 1=14.0 cm, age 2=19. 2 cm, age 3=21.6 mm and age 4=23.2 mm.
The von Bertalanffy’s equation (1938) in the form of L=L [1-e – k (t-to)], was used, where L=length (in this case total length), L=asymptotic length, k=growth factor and to=theoretic length at age 0. The parameters L, k and to of the equation of von Bertalanffy [11] were obtained with the methods of Ford [12], Walford [13] and Gulland [14], and were adjusted by convergent iterations with Newton´s algorithm, using the solver program in Excel software (Microsoft 1992). The lowest value of a sum of the squared error determined the best adjustment.
To obtain the weight-length relationship, the function W=a · Lb was used, where W=weight, L=length. A t- Student test indicated allometry [8,15]. The same function was also used to describe TL vs SL and He relationships, where the regression coefficient or slope b tends to 1, describing an isometric growth with those variables. Data of weight-length relationships were used to obtain the weight at each age. Weight growth was obtained by substituting TL and L by TW and W, in the von Bertalanffy´s equation (1938). Taylor´s equation [16,17] was used to calculate the age limit or longevity (95% of the L): A0.95=ln (1-0.95) / k + to.
To compare the growth parameters of the equation of von Bertalanffy obtained in this study with those from other authors, growth performance index or phi prima test was estimated [18]: (phi’) ϕ’=log K + 2∙log L.


Biometric relationships
The maximum value of TL was 24.8 cm and the minimum was 13.20 cm, with a difference of 11.6 cm (Table 1). Total weight varied from 25.00 g to 172.00 g. The curve that describes the relationship between weight and length is observed in Figure 1. Mode was slightly higher than average, in the length cases, that is, in total (TL), standard (SL) and height (He) lengths of the body. In the case of weight, the modes are lower than the averages (Table 1).
Table 1: Summary of size values of the measured variables: TL=total length, SL=standard length, He=height, TW=total weight and EW=eviscerated weight, from Selar crumenophthalmus.
Figure 1: Observed data (obs) and weight-length relationship by potential model for the species (calc all), females (calc fem) and males (calc male) of Selar crumenphthalmus.
Relationships between TL and SL (Table 2) show negative values of the allometric growth index for all individuals (b=0.854) and females (0.883). In the case of male organisms, growth index was isometric (0.992). In the relation of TL vs He, all growth indexes are positive: 1.245, 1.307 and 1.369, for all individuals, females and males, respectively. In the relationships between length and weight, that is total weight (TW) or eviscerated weight (EW), all values correspond to a positive allometric growth with the total weight: 3.232, 3.274 and 3.349, for the species, females and males. The same occurs with the eviscerated weight (EW), where the allometric growth index is 3.227, 3.282, 3.348 for the species (all the organisms), females and males.
Table 2: Morphometric relationships of the variables: TL=total length, SL=standard length, He=height, TW=total weight and EW=eviscerated weight, from Selar crumenophthalmus.
Differences of the length and weight values between males and females were not statistically significant; anova values are described here: between standard length of females and males F’ 0.05 (2,197=3.89)=2.23, between total length of females and males F’ 0.05 (2,179=3.89)=0.106, between height of females and males F’ 0.05 (2,197=3.89)=1.146, between total weight of females and males F’ 0.05 (2,197=3.89)=0.736, and between eviscerated weight of females and males F’ 0.05 (2,197=3.89)=1.136.
Time of growth rings formation of the slow and fast growth bands
S. crumenophthalmus showed that a higher percentage of sagittae and asterisci otoliths with fast growth borders occur from September to February, while the highest percentage with slow growth bands otoliths in the borders were observed from March to August (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Monthly frequency of the slow (hyaline) and fast (opaque) growth borders in Selar crumenphthalmus sagittae.
Analysis of otoliths
The sagittae and asterisci otoliths allowed the identification of four age groups. Growth parameters obtained by Ford-Walford- Gulland method for TL were: L=24.60 cm, k=0.662 years-1, and to=- 0.247. Growth parameters obtained by Solver iteration process were: L=23.60 cm, k=0.87 years-1, to=0 (Table 3).
Table 3: Observed and calculated values of total length (TL, cm) and total (TW, g) and eviscerated weight (EW, g) for each age group (years) of Selar crumenophthalmus.
Figures 3 and 4 show the growth curve of S. crumenophthalmus according to von Bertalanffy’s method.
Figure 3: Von Bertalanffy’s growth curve in length for Selar crumenophthalmus by Ford-Walford-Gulland (F-W-G) with otolith readings (obs), and iterative adjustments (Solver).
Figure 4: Von Bertalanffy’s growth curve in length and weight for Selar crumenophthalmus. TL =total length, TW=total weight, EW=eviscerated weight.
Ford-Walford and Gulland methods gave a better fit of the calculated equation to the observed data of otoliths readings, than Solver method. The sum of square errors (SSE) between observed and calculated data by Ford-Walford and Gulland was SSE=0.0795, and that of the observed data and the resulting of Solver process was SSE=0.3255. Growth from one age to the next was 5.22 cm from age 1to age 2, 2.69 cm from age 2 to age 3, 1.39 cm from ages 3 to 4.
Growth in weigh
The growth index value of the weight-length equation was positive allometric: b=3.232 with total weight data and b=3.227 with eviscerated specimens (Table 2).
Theoretical growth in weight
Values of calculated TW and EW have a slow growth during the first year of age, starting at 28.09 g and 25.10 g (Table 4, Figure 4). After age 2 there is a very fast growth rate. The calculated asymptotic total weight was Wt∞=175.3 g and the eviscerated asymptotic weight We=154.8 g.
Table 4: Length-weight relationship parameters in different countries.
Longevity (Age A0.95)
S. crumenophthalmus reached 95% of its infinite length L in 4.5 years.


Data of the relationships between length, height and weight (Table 2) show a higher tendency to positive allometry in males than females. In the case of the relationships between total weight and total length, a positive allometric growth is observed, for the species and for both sexes, this is, the organisms grow faster in weight than in length as they grow older.
Each year a band of fast and slow growth are deposited on the otoliths sagittae and asterisci, allowing the use of this structure to estimate the age of S. crumenophthalmus and its growth. This has also been found in Carangidae species, where scales are not present as Caranx caballus and Caranx caninus, or other species as Scomberomorus sierra [19-24], allowing a good assessment of ageing, not always possible with scales.
In this study the Ford-Walford-Gulland presented better results of adjustment or fitness from the calculated to the observed values, showing a lower value of the sum of square error. The Newton algorithm method in Solver (Microsoft 1992) overestimated the k value and under estimated t0, reducing it to 0. We consider that the F-W-G method presented a better fit whenever samples contain a larger number of biases and this method is less sensitive than the Solver. Similar results were observed in analysis of Mugil cephalus growth in the same area [25]. According to the different fishing methods organisms come from different samples. These fishing gears can capture any species of fish present in the area, depending on currents, sea temperatures, seasons, vulnerability to fishing gears and the present of other species as prey, predators or competitors [21,26].
Table 4 shows allometric indexes related to the weight length relationship for this species around the world. Nieto-Navarro et al. [27] reported a very slight higher value than our study, of b=3.28 in the coast of Sinaloa and Nayarit, Mexico, which could be related to a higher availability of food than in the coast of Jalisco and Colima, Mexico.
Similarly, southwest of Cuba, Claro & García-Arteaga [28] reported a value of b=3.29, similar to that of the coast of Sinaloa and Nayarit, and superior to that obtained in our study. Nevertheless, the allometric index descends in the Atlantic in the Gulf of Salamanca, Colombia, b=3.010 [29], showing a tendency to decrease this index with the decrease of latitude and therefore an increase of the temperature [16,17]; this value corresponds to an isometric growth index, where the fish grows proportionally in length as in weight. Values of this index with isometric tendencies are found in Yemen b=3.024 for males of this species [30], in Indonesia b=3.004 [31] and in New Caledonia b=2.982 [32].
The highest values of the allometric index are found in Cape Verde b=3.57 [33] and males studied by us b=3.35, as well as specimens analyzed in the Philippines in the Guimaras Strait b=3.32 [34]. Other data reported for Philippines show values of b=3.23 in Honda Bay, Palawan [35]. In the Reunion Islands Letourneur et al. [32] reported values of b=3.259. In New Caledonia Kulbicki et al. [36] found a value of b=3.194. Finally, Ralston [37] reported a value of b=3.18 in the Mariana Islands. It is important to show that no author found values of the allometric index of the relationship weight-length of S. crumenophthalmus lower than 3, that is, an allometric negative value, where organisms grow faster in length than in weight.
Related to the growth parameters calculations done by other authors (Table 5) it can be observed that most studies are made in the Philippines, a total of 16 publications with growth parameters, because of the importance that this species has in these islands, where the captures reach the larger volumes compared internationally [38]. Eleven studies were done by analyzing length frequencies and five by the study of growth rings in the sagittae.
Table 5: Growth parameters of the von Bertalanffy equation for Selar crumenophthalmus reported by different authors (longevity and φ’values were calculated by us).
According to the determination of the L parameter but by the length frequency method, Lavapie-González et al. [39] found values slightly higher than the present study: in South Sulu sea and Leyte Gulf, with values of L=24.60 cm, around this value in Pujada Bay (L=23.30 cm), Camotes sea (28.50 cm and 28.80 cm) and Davao Gulf (L=28.60 cm). Nevertheless, the k values are much higher, except for that calculated for the sea of Camotes where k=0.86, similar to our finding with the Solver analysis, and a longevity of 3.5, closer to that reported in the present study of 4.5. Similar results were reported by Armada [40] in the Davao Gulf: L=26.50 cm, k=0.85 and longevity=3.5 years. Padilla reported a L=25.40 cm, a value of k=1.00 and a longevity of 3 years. Philbrick [41] found a L=26.50 cm, k=1.250 and a lower longevity than in our study, of 2.4 years. The highest values of L were reported by Ingles and Pauly [42] in the Manila Bay: L=36.50 cm and L=31.00. The k index was 0.89, similar to the one obtained in our study by the Solver method; the longevity value of 3.4 also approximates to the present study, 4.5.
The studies done in Philippines with the analysis of otoliths (Table 5), four use daily growth marks and one of them uses annuli. Daily growth marks were studied by Dalzell and Peñaflor [7], and the L=27.00 in Moro Gulf, L=29.00 in North Sulu Sea, L=31.20 cm in Camotes Sea, and L=31.50 in Guimaras Strait. The k values were higher than the obtained in the present study and longevities reached lower values than the reported in our study, oscillating between 1.4 and 1.8 years of age. According to the seasonal growth ring analysis on sagittae, Ralston and Williams [6] obtained values of k=0.61 and a longevity of 4.9 years, being these the data closer to the obtained in our study, however the L=32.00 cm is higher than ours.
Similar values to those of this study were found in Java Island: L=25.90 cm [43], L=26.10 cm [44], and L=26.90 cm [43,45]; however the k values were far higher and longevity much inferior tan those reported in this study.
In India, West Bengala, Panda et al. [46] obtained a value of L=31.00 with high values of the k index and a low longevity, compared to our study. In Maldivas, South India, Adeeb et al. [47] obtained values closer to the present study: L=26.50 cm, k=0.93, considering the value obtained by the Solver method in this study.
In Sri Lanka [48], in the Colombian Caribean [49] and in Taiwan Strait [50], the k values reported were lower: k=0.500, k=0.260 and k=0.240, and the longevity was higher: 6 years, 11.5 years and 12.5 years, respectively. Finally, in Mozambique, Sousa [51] reported a k=0.75 close to that found in the present study and a longevity of 4 years, also close to the 4.5 years of our study.
These differences in the values of the growth parameters of the von Bertalanffy equation depend on the samples obtained, and are determined by the environmental conditions such as latitude, temperature, salinity, among other [16,17]. Fishery activity and its pressure have also an effect on the population dynamics. If the pressure is high, danger of overfishing can exist, and the older age groups can disappear [26,21].


1. Average length of Selar crumenophthalmus was 19.52 cm, the minimum 13.20 cm and the maximum 24.80 cm. Average total weight was 86.83 g, the minimum 25.00 g and the maximum of 1 72.00 grams.
2. Each year a fast growth band and a slow growth band are deposited on the sagittae and asterisci of Selar crumenophthalmus equivalent to one year of age.
3. The values of the allometric indexes of the length-weight relationship were: b=3.232 for total weight data and b=3.227 for eviscerated specimens.
4. The growth parameters found in this species were: L=24.60 cm, k=0.662, to=-0.247 TW=175.3 g, and EW=154.8 g.
5. Longevity value was A0.95=4.5 years.


Although in Mexico the fishery of Selar crumenophthalmus is directed mainly to obtain bait for the fishing of marlin, sailfish and dolphinfish, studies on it biology and population dynamics should continue, to establish a norm that regulates its capture and prevents overexploitation.
It is important not to fish these organisms inside the coastal lagoons where the juveniles and smaller organisms are found, to prevent their capture, but adults that have reproduced at least once.
It is very important to stop the cutting of the mangroves, as these habitats in the coastal lagoons are spawning areas and nurseries to a great quantity of species of fishes including Selar crumenophthalmus; the disappearance and/or contamination of mangroves elevates the natural mortality indexes of a great number of marine organisms.


We want to express our gratefulness to fishermen, and also Domingo Brambila-López and Alejandro Pérez-Muñoz who provided samples to complete the information of this study.


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