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The morphology of the scales of Parachanna obscura in River Owo, southwest Nigeria

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Author(s): O. O. Whenu | S. O. Fagade

Journal: Research Opinions in Animal & Veterinary Sciences
ISSN 2221-1896

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 107;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Morphology | Parachanna obscura | Scale | River Owo

ABSTRACT
A study was carried out to study the morphology of the scales of Parachanna obscura (African snakehead) from River Owo, South-West Nigeria. A total of 312 scales were found to be fit for analysis. Scales above and below the lateral lines of the species were removed, cleansed and observed under the microscope for growth rings. Interruptions of the regularly arranged circuli were interpreted as representing growth markings. Growth markings on these were interpreted as being laid once in a year during the rainy season, which coincided with the peak spawning period. Three year classes were identified as 0+, 1+ and 2+. Mean length at capture for the 0+, 1+ and 2+ were 15.8, 27.9 and 26.3cm respectively while mean total length at annulus formation for age 1+ is 27.45±8.1 and that of 2+ is 28.88±5.8cm at first annulus formation and 29.51±8.0cm at second annulus formation. It can be concluded that the life span of P. obscura in River Owo is not less than two years.
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