The variability in size of pelagic and demersal marine and freshwater fish eggs is examined. The difference between the smallest and largest volumes, based on published figures for the diameters, is large in many species. In marine species with planktonic eggs, the median percentage difference is just over 100%, and this is similar in species with demersal eggs and in freshwater fish. The available evidence suggests that geographical differences in egg size are small, but in marine fish there is a well‐known seasonal decline in egg size. In herring it has previously been shown that egg size in different spawning groups can be correlated with the timing of the production cycle. A similar correlation can be seen in the seasonal shift in time and locality of spawning, and egg size, of the plaice. Sufficient data on seasonal freshwater fish egg variations are not available, but the time of spawning does appear to be linked with the availability of food for the larvae in both lake and stream species.
Journal of Fish Biology – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 1971
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