Published: 2022-01-28

DOI: 10.56557/upjoz/2022/v43i22892

Page: 19-29


Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Papyrocranus afer are threatened by increasing collection from the wild for aquaria, especially the juveniles. Age, growth and growth derived parameters of P. afer Lagoon based on analysis Length Frequency Distribution (LFD) and interpretation of annual growth marks hard structures (namely scales, otoliths, opercula and cleithra).  In total, 1, 154 individuals of P. afer were sampled monthly during Jan. 2010 to Dec. 2011 from Lekki Lagoon. The mean lengths-at-ages from LFD were 13.45 cm (Age 0+) 34.45 cm (Age 1+), 49.50 cm (Age 2+) and 61cm (Age 3+). The von bertalanffy growth function was used to model the observed length-at-age data: Lt = 77.6 (1 – e-0.33(t +0.46)). Length at first maturity (Lm) was 41.1cm while length at optimum yield (Lopt) was 49.5cm. Preponderance of immature fishes (38 cm) in the catch suggests growth overfishing. Interpretable annual growth marks on hard parts showed ages 1, 2 and 3 years; the mean lengths at these ages were 33.1, 44.6 and 58.4cm (cleithra), 29.1, 40.0 and 60.4 (scale) and 29.1, 40.0 and 60.4 (operculum). No interpretable growth marks on otoliths. Growth overfishing underline vulnerability of Papyrocranus afer to over-exploitation, hence the need for its conservation in Lekki Lagoon.

Keywords: Size-at-maturity, age-at-length, von-baterlannfy growth, population dynamics, growth mark, Lekki Lagoon

How to Cite



Download data is not yet available.


Oguntade OR, Oketoki OT, Ukenye, EA, Usman BA. and Adeleke MT. Survey of the of the present and fast disappearing fish species along two rivers in the Niger Delta. Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 2014;9:352-358.

Reid G, Macbeath T, Csatadi K. Global challenges in freshwater-fish conservation related to public aquariums and the aquarium industry International Zoo Yearbook. 2013;47(1):6-45.

Raghavan R, Dahanukar N, Tlusty MF, Rhyne AL. Kumar KK, Molure S, Rosser AM. Uncovering an obscure trade: Threatened freshwater fishes and the aquarium pet markets Biological Conservation. 2013;164:158–169.

IUCN The IUCN Red List of threatened species. Version 2018-2. Downloaded on 12 November, 2018.

Lalèyè P, Moelants T. Papyrocranus afer. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2010;e.T181889A7757688. Available: Downloaded on 12 November 2018.

Narejo NT. Reproductive biology of freshwater fish reared in the cemented cistern of BAU, Mymensingh, Bangladesh. Journal of Aquaculture. 2002;17:251–259.

Campana SE. Accuracy, precision and quality control in age determination, including a review of the use and abuse of age validation methods. Journal of Fish Biology. 2001;59:197-242.

Steward J. and Hughes JM. Longevity, growth, reproduction and a description of the fishery for silver sweep Scorpis lineolatus off New South Wales, Australia. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. 2005;39:827-838.

Khan S. and Khan M. Importance of age and growth studies in fisheries management. Proceedings of National seminar Next Generation Sciences: Vision 2020 and Beyond (NGSV) March 08, 2014. Organized by Department of Zoology Mahashi Dayanand University Rohtak 124001 Haryana (India).

Sebens KPT. The ecology of indeterminate growth in animals. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. 1987;18:371-407.

McDowall RM. On size and growth in freshwater fish Ecology of Freshwater Fishes. 1994;3(2):67-79.

Mumby S, Chapman SN, Crawley JEAH, Mar KU, Htut W, Soe AT, Aung HH, Lummaa, V. Distinguishing between determinate and indeterminate growth in a long-lived mammal Hannah BMC Evolutionary Biology. 2015;15:214.

Ali SS. Freshwater fishery biology. Ed: Naseem Book Depot, Pakistan. 1999;60.

Ahmed T M, and Abu El-Nasr. Age and growth of the fish, Gerres filamentosus (Cuvier, 1829) from Hurghada Red Sea, Egypt The Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Research. 2017;43(3):219-227.

Oben PM, Ugwumba O, Fagade S. Age and growth studies of Hyperopisus bebe (Laceped) Mormyridae in Lekki Lagoon. Nigeria Journal of African Zoology. 1998;112:87-96.

Jepsen DB, Winemiller KODC, Taphorn DC, and Rodriguez DO. Age structure and growth of peacock cichlids from rivers and reservoirs of Venezuela. Journal of Fish Biology. 1999;55:433–450.

Miranda R, Escala MC. Morphometrical comparison of cleithra, opercular and pharyngeal bones of autochthonous Leuciscinae (Cyprinidae) of Spain. Folia of Zoology. 2005;54:173–188.

Winemiller KO, Kelso-Winemiller LC. Comparative ecology of the African pike, Hepsetus odoe, and tigerfish, Hydrocynus forskahlii, in the Zambezi River floodplain. Journal of Fish Biology. 1994;45:211 – 225.

Booth AJ, Merron GS and Buxton CD. The growth of Oreochromis andersonii (Pisces: Cichlidae) from the Okavongo Delta, Botswana, and a comparison of the scale and otolith method of aging. Environmental Biology of Fishes.1995;43:171–178.

Fowler AJ. Annulus formation in otoliths of coral reef fish: a review. In Recent Developments in Fish Otolith Research (Secor, D. H., Dean, J. M. and Campana, S. E., Editiors), Columbia, S. C: University of South Carolina Press. 1995;45–64.

Fagade SO. Age determination in Tilapia melanotheron (Ruphell) in Lagos Lagoon with a discussion of the environmental and physiological basis of growth markings in the tropics. In the ageing of fish (T.B. Bagenal Edtr.). Symposium proceedingsUnwin Brothers Limited, Old Working, Surrey, England. 1974;71 – 77.

Oben PM, Ugwumba OA. Age and growth of Heterotis niloticus (Cuvier) from an inland tropical lake. Nigerian Journal of Science. 1999;33:85–89.

King RP. Seasonal dynamics in the trophic status of Papyrocranus afer (Gunther, 1868) (Notopteridae) in a Nigerian rainforest stream. Revista de Biologia Tropical. 1994;27:143 - 155.

Ugwumba AAA and Kusemiju K. The food and feeding habits of the non-cichlids fishes in the Lekki Lagoon, Nigeria. Nigeria Journal of Science. 1994;28:351-368.

Edema CU, Ogbeibu AE, and Utunye M. Aspects of the biology of Papyrocranus afer and Xenomystus nigri (Family Notopteridae) in the River Osse, southern Nigeria. Tropical Freshwater Biology 2007;16(2): 9–19.

Reed H, Burchard J, Hopson AJ, Jenness J, Var B. Fish and Fisheries of Northern Nigeria. Ministry of Agriculture Northern Nigeria. 1967;226.

Idodo-Umeh G. Freshwater fishes of Nigeria Taxonomy, Ecological Notes, Diet and Utilization. Idodo Umeh Publishers, Benin City, Nigeria. 2003;232.

Obasohan EE, Obasohan EE, Imasuen JA, Isidahome CE. Preliminary studies of the length-weight relationships and condition factor of five fish species from Ibiekuma stream, Ekpoma, Edo state, Nigeria Journal of Agricultural Research and Development. 2012;2(3):061-069.

Adaka G, Ndukwe E, Nlewadim A. Length-weight relationship of some fish species in a tropical rainforest river in south-east Nigeria Transylvanian Review of Systematical and Ecological Research. 2015;17(2):73-78.

von Bertalanffy L. A new graphic way of describing the growth of Reference Manual. Food and Agriculture Organization of United States Computerized Information Series. 1938;Fisheries 8:1 – 262.

Gulland JA, Holt SJ. Estimation of growth parameter for data at unequal time intervals. Journal of Conservation 1959; 25(1): 47-90.

Froese R, Binohlan C. Emperical relationship to estimate asymptotic length, length-at-first maturity and length maximum yield per recruit in fishes, with a simple method to evaluate frequency data. Journal of Fish Biology. 2000;56:758 - 773.

Beverton RJH. Pattern of reproductive biology strategy parameters in some marines telesot fishes. Journal of Fish Biology. 1992;41 (Supplement B):137-160.

Taylor CC. Cod growth and temperature. Journal of Conservation. 1958;23:366 - 370.

Getabu A. Growth Parameters and total Mortality in Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus) from Nyanza Gulf, Lake Victoria. Hydrobiology. 1992;232: 91–97.

Beverton RJH, and Holt SJ. A review of the lifespans and mortality rates of fish in nature and their relation to growth and other physiological characteristics. Ciba Foundation Colloquia Ageing. 1959;5:142–180.

Kamilov BG.. Morphology of growth structures in silver carp, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, in relation to estimation of age and growth rate. Journal of Ichthyology. 1985;25:49–59.

Harrison EJ, and Hadley WF. A comparison of the use of cleithra to the use of scale for age and growth studies. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 1979;108:452-456.

Tarkan A, Gürsoy GÇ, Gaygusuz, Özcan, Acipinar H. Use of bone and otolith measures for size-estimation of fish in predator-prey studies. Folia Zoologica. 2007;56:328-336.

Summerfelt RC, Hall GE. (eds.). Age and growth of fish. The Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa. 51987;44.

Fraser CM. Growth of the spring salmon. Transactions of the Pacific Fisheries Society. 1951:1916:29-39.

Lee RM. A review of the methods of age and growth in fishes by means of scales. Fisheries Investigations, Series II Marine Fisheries Great Britain Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food. 1920;4(2):1-32.

Sparre P, Ursin E, Venem SC. Introduction to tropical fish stock assessment. Part 1. Manual. Food and Agriculture Organization of United States Fisheries Technical Paper 1989;306-337.

Moreau J, Bambino C, Pauly D. A comparison of four indices of overall growth performance based on 100 tilapia populations (Family Cichlidae). The first Asian Fisheries Forum. Asian Fisheries Society, Manila, 1986;201-206.

King RP. Weight-fecundity relationships of Nigerian fish populations. NAGA, The International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management Quarterly 1997;22(1):33–36.

Djama IC, Gabche G, Youmbi J. and Tienctheu E. Comparison of the growth of West African stock of Sardinella maderensis with emphasis on Cameroun. Fishbyte. 1989;7(3):13–14.

Wood EM Collection of coral reef fish for aquaria: Global trade, conservation issues and management strategies. Marine Conservation Society, United Kingdom. 2001;8:0.

FAO. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2012. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved January 21, 2013 from 2012. Available:

Smith CL. Summary of round table discussions on back calculation. U.S. Dep. Commercial National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Technical Paper. National Marine Fishes Services. 1983;l8:45-47.

Casselman JM. Growth and relative size of calcified structures of fish. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 1990;119:673–688.

Cailliet GM, Martin LK, Harvey JT, Kusher D, Welden BA. Preliminary studies on the age and growth of blue, Prionace glauca, common thresher, Alopias vulpinus, and shortfin mako, Isurus oxyrinchus, sharks from California waters. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Technical Report National Marine Fisheries Services. 1983;8:179-188.