Otolith morphometry and scanning electron microscopy analysis of three fish species from the Black Sea



In this study, it was aimed to determine the otolith morphology and morphometry of Merlangius merlangus, Trachurus mediterraneus and Mullus barbatus inhabiting at different depths. The fish samples were obtained from the Ordu coast of the Black Sea. Sagittal otoliths of the individuals were carefully removed. Otolith length, width, perimeter and area were measured and values of form factor, roundness, aspect ratio, circularity, rectangularity and elipticity of sagittal otoliths were evaluated for each species. According to the results, there was a difference between the right and left sagittal otoliths in specimens of each population inhabiting different depths. The left sagittal otoliths were preferred for analysis. Moreover, there was a statistical difference in shape indice values among fish species. On the contrary, there was no statistical difference between rectangularity values of T. mediterraneus and M. barbatus. The otolith morphology of fish species were analysed by scanning electron microscopy. The sagittal otolith was elliptic to lanceolated for T. mediterraneus, was elliptic to oval for M. barbatus and was lanceolated for M. merlangus. According to the results, separating stocks using otolith morphometry and shape indices in fish populations was a possible and feasible method. Therefore, otolith morphometry research should also be planned for other species inhabiting at different depths and ecological conditions.


Otolith morphometry; Sagittal otolith morphology; Scanning electron microscopy; Shape indices

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