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Spawning biology, embryonic development and rearing of endangered loach, Botia lohachata (Chaudhuri) in captivity

Author: 
Arpita Dey, Debapriya Sarkar and Sudip Barat
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Botia lohachata or “Y- loach”, an endangered and vulnerable fish, has both ornamental and edible value. Schistosomiasis or snail fever, a serious disease affecting human, domestic animals and wild animals is naturally controlled by the “Y-loach” in eating the freshwater snail and therefore plays a significant role in controlling the disease. The aim of the present study was, therefore, to breed this ornamental fish in captivity, study the embryonic development and conserve the fish in its natural habitat. The fecundity of females ranged from 3,731 to 23,120. The fish spawns in flowing water system at night. Embryonic and post embryonic development was recorded for 45 days. Each fish was given a dose of 0.025ml of WOVA-FH, a synthetic hormone, for induced breeding. The fertilized eggs measuring 0.9-1mm in diameter were observed to be demersal, nonadhesive and optically transparent. The average fertilization rate was found to be 95.98 %.The average Gonado-Somatic Index of female Botia lohachata was 24.46 and male 3.2. The embryos hatched after 14.30 h of fertilization from the chorion and measured 2.5 mm in total length. Correlation studies between total length, body weight, gonad weight, gonad length, fecundity and GSI were found to be significant (p≤0.01). The present work thus contributed to cover the deficient information for embryonic development of Botia lohachata. The embryonic development and captive breeding of this fish can play a great role in the conservation and its habitat protection.

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