Reproduction, embryonic development and larviculture of the Neon Goby Elacatinus figaro in laboratory
The neon goby Elacatinus figaro is endemic to the Brazilian coast and was one of the most important species in the country's ornamental fish trade. Currently, it is on the list of species threatened with extinction and protected from extraction. This work aimed to describe the reproduction, embryonic development and larviculture of the “neon goby” in the laboratory. The first natural spawning was observed from the 24th day after the formation of the couples, with the interval between spawning from 8 to 10 days at 26 ° C. Fertility varied from 430 to 1,020 eggs per spawning with an average of 648 ± 183 eggs (mean ± standard deviation1, with an average hatching rate of 69 ± 16%. Eggs are elliptical, measure 1.81 ± 0.1 mm in length and 0 , 61 ± 0.03 mm in diameter,they have adhesive filaments in the basal part and contain five protuberances in the distal part. The time for the larvae to hatch is 7 to 8 days. The newly hatched larvae measure 3.15 ± 0.07 mm, have positive phototaxis, pigmented eyes, an open mouth and an inflated gas vesicle. The larvae were fed with Brachionus plicatilis rotifers in a green water system with the microalgae Nannochloropsis oculata from the 1st to the 20th day after hatching. Artemia nauplii were offered from the 15th day together with rotifers and, exclusively, from the 20th day. The settlement occurred from the 28th day, when the “neon goby” larvae reached a length of 8.50 ± 0.18 mm with survival between 2 and 20%.