Event Abstract

Insights on the Reproduction and Embryonic Development of Garra rufa (Cyprinidae)

  • 1 MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, School of Tourism and Maritime Technology, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal
  • 2 MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • 3 CFE - Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Garra rufa is a small freshwater benthopelagic cyprinid, originally from Southwest Asia, which has become economically relevant during the last decade. G. rufa is a worthy element to control algae growth in aquariophilia, but it is mostly known for its use in treatments of skin problems in spa’s and clinics. It was made an attempt to reproduce G. rufa in captivity, in order to respond to an increasing marketing demand for this fish, plus to get an insight on its reproductive biology and embryonic development. Groups of 5 G. rufa were inserted in twelve aquaria of 20 l, with an internal filter, aeration and placed in a controlled temperature room at 26ºC. A net placed 1.5 cm above the bottom prevented the fish from eating their own eggs. The fishes were fed three times per day and checked for the presence of eggs. The eggs were removed, placed on separate aquaria and photographed hourly at a Leica DM2000LED compound microscope, equipped with a Leica DMC2900 camera G. rufa showed almost no sexual dimorphism, except for the presence of tubercles on the snout of males, which appeared only during the reproduction period. Males were larger than females and executed high velocity persecutions after them. In a total of 28 postures, only 17 resulted in newly born fish. This was mostly due to fungal development around the eggs that caused the embryos to degenerate. There was a hatching success of 60%. The eggs showed no adhesive properties, being deposited on the bottom. The most prominent structures of the embryos were noticeable after: 3h - tail bud; 6h - optic primordium; 10h - heart beating; 15h - pectoral fins buds. They hatched between 24 to 48h and the larvae consumed the yolk sac in 48h.


This work was developed in the scope of the project “SpaGaRufa – Production of the fish Garra rufa for therapeutic purposes”, an Ignition Fund INOV C, co-financed by the Operational Programme of the Centre Region (+ CENTRO), National Strategic Reference Framework (QREN 2007-2013) and the European Fund for Regional Development, developed by GIRM-IPL – Group of Investigation in Marine Resources from the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria.

Keywords: Aquaculture, Doctor fish, Growth, Embryonic Development, Cyprinid

Conference: XV European Congress of Ichthyology, Porto, Portugal, 7 Sep - 11 Sep, 2015.

Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

Topic: Physiology, Behavior and Toxicology

Citation: R S Gomes M, M R S Catarino M, C Gonçalves S and M F Ferreira S (2015). Insights on the Reproduction and Embryonic Development of Garra rufa (Cyprinidae). Front. Mar. Sci. Conference Abstract: XV European Congress of Ichthyology. doi: 10.3389/conf.fmars.2015.03.00085

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Received: 12 Nov 2015; Published Online: 17 Nov 2015.

* Correspondence: Prof. Susana M F Ferreira, CFE - Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, 3001-401, Portugal, susana.ferreira@ipleiria.pt