Liza vaigiensis


Life History/Reproduction

The squaretail mullet (Liza vaigiensis) is a member of the grey mullet (Mugilidae) family. Contained in this family are two primary genera: Liza and Mugil. This knowledge is important because little research has been done on the reproductive characteristics of Liza vaigiensis in particular, so the information on this page has largely been inferred from knowledge about fish of the Mugilidae family and Liza genus in general.

File:Fringing mangroves, mudflat and in Muthupet Lagoon .JPG
Figure 5.1 Photograph of brackish water environment conducive for striped mullet.

Liza vaigiensis generally live and thrive in brackish water environments, but they spawn in saltwater, as do the other Mugilid mullets (Striped Mullet 2004). In the pre- and post-spawning periods, both male and female Mullet linger in the brackish water estuary (due to its inherent abundance of food) before migrating to the near-shore areas of the sea where spawning takes place (Chen et al. 1999). Liza fish are total spawners (Chen et al. 1999), which means that they release only one batch of eggs per breeding season (Reproduction 2013). In the spawning process, the females release the eggs into the water and the males release sperm to fertilize them (Spawning 2013).


Firgure 5.2 Photograph of small school of mullet (Striped Mullet) in Mediterranean Sea

It is difficult to say exactly when the Liza vaigiensis spawning season takes place as, again, little knowledge exists about Liza vaigiensis in particular and, furthermore, studies have found that the time of spawning season varies greatly between different groups (not necessarily species) of the grey mullet, depending on geographical conditions and environmental factors (Chen et al. 1999). Studies have observed Grey Mullets in Sri Lanka spawning between January and February as well as between August and September (Chen et al. 1999), while other studies have shown grey mullets in the waters of southeastern India spawning from July to August (Luther 1963). Thus, the spawning of mullet is heavily dependent upon highly localized environmental factors. However, a drop in water temperature seems to be positively correlated with the occurrence of a mullet spawning season (Wijeyaratne and Costa 1987).

The eggs hatch approximately two days after fertilization occurs, releasing larvae about 2-4 millimeters long into the water. The larvae feed on a range of things, from diatoms to algae to copepods to marine rotifers (Liao 1975). Fish of the Mugilid family generally reach sexual maturation after approximately three years of life (Striped Mullet 2005, Minos et al. 2010), and the cycle repeats.

Use UW-L's multiple organisms website to see how the Liza vaigiensis reproduces compared to other types of fish, including the yellow perch, small mouth bass, the flathead minnow, and the bluegill.



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