Greener Journal of Life Sciences

Open Access

Mili et al

Greener Journal of Life Sciences Vol. 3 (1), pp. 001-012, August 2014.

  © 2013 Greener Journals

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 102516171



Age and Growth of Bluemouth Helicolenus dactylopterus (Delaroche, 1809) in the Northern Waters of Tunisia (Central Mediterranean)


Mili Sami1*, Ennouri Rym2, Amdouni Fatma2, Chammam Bachra2 and Missaoui Hechmi2


1Unité Exploitation des milieux aquatiques. Institut Supérieur de Pêche et d’Aquaculture de Bizerte, BP 15, 7080 Menzel Jemil, Tunisie.

2Institut National des Sciences et Technologies de la Mer, 28 Rue 2 Mars 1934, 2025 Salammbô, Tunisie.


Data on age and growth of the bluemouth Helicolenus dactylopterus (Delaroche, 1809) from the Southern central Mediterranean Sea are provided in this paper. Ages of bluemouth rockfish (Scorpaenidae) in the northern Tunisian waters were estimated by otolith readings and verified by marginal increment analysis. A total of 513 individuals were measured, weighed and their sex was determined. The fish total length (TL) range between 8 and 30.6 cm, which corresponded to individuals between 0 to 9 years old. The otoliths showed the typical teleost fish pattern with alternated opaque and hyaline rings. Marginal increment analysis of specimens suggested that a single annulus was formed each year. The Von Bertalanffy growth function was selected as the most adequate model to fit this species' growth. Parameters of the growth curve were L =37.17cm, K=0.142year-1, t0= -1.67years. The weight-length relationship (TW= 2.2092 x10-5TL2.870) described a negative allometric growth of the species. The growth parameters obtained from the age-length relationships showed higher differences between sexes.


Keywords: Helicolenus dactylopterus; otoliths; age; growth; North of Tunisia

Post-review Rundown

View/get involved, click [Post-Review Page]


Abecais D., Costa A. R., Pereira J.G. & Pinho M.R. 2006. Age and growth of bluemouth, Helicolenus dactylopterus (Delaroche, 1809) from the Azores. Fisheries Research, 79: 148-154.


Allain V. & Lorance P. 2000. Age estimation and growth of some deep-sea fish from the northeast Atlantic Ocean. Cybium, 24: 7-16.


Anderson R. O. & Neumann, R. M. 1996. Length, weight and associated structural indices. In: Fisheries Techniques. B. R. Murphy, D. Wills (Eds). American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD, 447–481.


Ben Abdallah-Ben Hadj Hamida O., Ben Hadj Hamida N., Chaouch H., Jarboui O. & Missaoui H. 2016. Age, growth and reproduction of the striped sea bream Lithognathus mormyrus (Linnaeus, 1758) in the gulf of Gabes (Southeastern Tunisia, Central Mediterranean). Cah. Biol. Mar. 57: 113-123


Bradai M.N. & Bouain A. 1990. Les Scorpaenides dans les pêcheries Tunisiennes. Bull. Inst. Nat. Scient. Tech. Oceanogr. Pêche Salammbô. 17:47-60.


Chemmam-Abdelkader B. 2004. Les Dentés (Poissons, Sparidés) des côtes tunisiennes: Etude éco-biologique et dynamique des populations. Thèse Doctorat de la Faculté des Sciences de Tunis.309 pp.


Consoli P., Battaglia P., Castriota L., Esposito V., Romeo T. & Andaloro, F. 2010. Age, growth and feeding habits of the bluemouth rockfish, Helicolenus dactylopterus dactylopterus (Delaroche 1809) in the central Mediterranean (southern Tyrrhenian Sea). Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 26: 583-591.


D’Onghia G., Mastrototaro F. & Panza M. 1996. On the growth and mortality of rockfish, Helicolenus dactylopterus (Delaroche 1809), from the Ionian Sea. FAO Fisheries Report, 533:143-152.


D’Onghia G., Matarrese A. & Tursi A. 1992. Biologia di Helicolenus dactylopterus (Delaroche, 1809): distribuzione e accrescimento sui fondi batiali del Mar Jonio. Oebalia, 17: 129-131.


Demirhan S. A. & Akbulut F. 2015. Age and Growth of the Bluemouth Rockfish, Helicolenus dactylopterus (Delaroche 1809) from the North-Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Turkey. Pakistan J. Zool., 47: 523-527.


Denney N. H., Jennings S. & Reynolds J.D. 2002. Life-history correlates of maximum population growth rates in marine fishes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences, 269: 2229-2237.


Fischer W., Schneider M. & Bauchot M.L. 1987. Fiches FAO d’identification des espèces pour les besoins de la pêche; Méditerranée et Mer Noire (zone de pêche 37) Révision 1. volume II, Vertébrés. 1530pp.


Gunderson D. R. 1997. Trade-off between reproductive effort and adult survival in oviparous and viviparous fishes. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 54: 990-998.


Isidro E. J. 1984. Age and growth of the bluemouth, Helicolenus dactylopterus dactylopterus (De la Roche, 1809), off the Azores. ICES Doc C.M., 1987/G, 6:63.


Kelly C. J., Connolly P. L. & Bracken J. J. 1999. Age estimation, growth, maturity and distribution of the bluemouth rockfish Helicolenus dactylopterus (Delaroche 1809) from the Rockall Trough. ICES J. Mar. Sci., 56: 61-74.


Khemiri S., Gaamour A., Zylberberg L., Meunier F. & Romdhane M. S. 2005. Age and growth of bogue, Boops boops, in Tunisian waters. Acta Adriat., 46: 159-175.


Mamie J. C. J., Beare D. J., Jones E. G., Kienzle M., Dobby H., Heath M. R. & Reid D. G. 2007. Aspects of the distribution and growth of bluemouth (Helicolenus dactylopterus, Delaroche 1809) since its invasion of the northern North Sea in 1991. Fisheries Oceanography, 16: 85-94.


Massuti E., Morales Nin B. & Moranta J. 2000. Age and growth of blue-mouth, Helicolenus dactylopterus (Osteichthyes: Scorpaenidae), in the western Mediterranean. Fisheries Research, 46: 165-176.


Massuti E., Moranta J., Gil de Sola L., Morales-Nin B. & Prats L. 2001. Distribution and population structure of the rockfish Helicolenus dactylopterus (Pisces: Scorpaenidae) in the western Mediterranean. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. UK, 81: 129-141.


Mili S., Jarboui O. & Missaoui H. 2008. Caractères biométriques de la squille  Squilla mantis dans les eaux tunisiennes. Bull. Inst. Nat. Scient. Tech. Oceanogr. Pêche Salammbô, 35: 1-14.


Monteiro L.R., Isidro E.J. & Lopes H.D. 1991. Mercury content in relation to sex, size, age and growth in two scorpion fish (Helicolenus dactylopterus and Pontinus kuhlii) from Azorean waters. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 56: 359-367.


Morales-Nin B. 1989. Edad, crecimiento y mortalidad de Helicolenus dactylopterus (Cuvier) en aguas de Namibia. Colln. Scient. Pap. Int. Commun. SE. Atl. Fish, 243-248.


Munro J. L. & Pauly D. 1983. A simple method for comparing the growth of fishes and invertebrates. Fishbyte, 1: 5-6.


Paul L. J. & Horn P. L. 2009. Age and growth of sea perch (Helicolenus percoides) from two adjacent areas off the east coast of South Island, New Zealand. Fisheries Research, 95: 169-180.


Peirano A. & Tunesi L. 1986. Preliminary notes on the biology of Helicolenus dactylopterus (Delaroche, 1809) in the Ligurian Sea. Rapport de la Commission Internationale pour l’exploration scientifique de la Mer Méditerrané, 30 : 233-238.


Pirrera L., Bottari T., Busalacchi B., Giordano D., Modica L., Perdichizzi A., Perdichizzi F., Profeta A. & Rinelli P. 2009. Distribution and population structure of the fish Helicolenus dactylopterus dactylopterus (Delaroche, 1809) in the Central Mediterranean (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea). Marine Ecology, 30: 161-174.


Ragonese S. & Reale B. 1992. Estimation of mortality rates and critical age of Helicolenus dactylopterus dactylopterus (Pisces: Scorpaeniformes) in the Sicilian Channel (Central Mediterranean). Rapp. Commun. Int. Mer Medit. 33 :307-315.


Ragonese S. 1989. L'Applicazione dell'equazione di von Bertalanffy generale: il caso di Helicolenus dactylopterus (Delar.) (Pisces: Scorpaenidae) del Tirreno Settentrionale. Oebalia 15: 753-762.


Romanelli M., Palladino S., Tarulli E. & Ferretti M. 1997. Stima dell'accrescimento di Helicolenus dactylopetrus (Delaroche) in Adriatico Meridionale tramite esame dell sagittae di esemplari prelevati con reti a strascico e palangari di fondo. Biol. Mar. Medit. 4: 554-556.


Sequeira V., Neves A., Vieira A. R., Figueiredo I. & Gordo L. S. 2009. Age and growth of bluemouth, Helicolenus dactylopterus, from the Portuguese continental slope. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 1-8.


Ungaro N. & Marano G. 1995. Analytical models for Mediterranean species: an application on the Helicolenus dactylopterus (Delaroche) resource in the lower Adriatic. Rapport de la Commission Internationale pour l’exploration scientifique de la Mer Méditerranée, 34 :260-281.


Von Bertalanffy L. 1938. A quantitative theory of organic growth (inquiries on growth laws II). Human Biology, 10: 181-213.


Weatherley A. H. & Gill H. S. 1987. The Biology of Fish Growth. Academic Press, New York. 443 pp.


White D. B., Wyanski D. M. & Sedberry G. R. 1998. Age, growth, and reproductive biology of the blackbelly rosefish from the Carolinas, USA. J. Fish Biol. 53: 1274-1291.