Relationship between fish length and otolith length and width in the lutjanid fish, Lutjanus bengalensis (Lutjanidae) collected from Muscat City coast on the Sea of Oman

Laith Jawad, Juma Al-Mamry, Haithem Al-Busaidi

Marine Science and Fisheries Centre, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth, P. O. Box 427, Muscat 100, Sultanate of OMAN


Otoliths are usually used to identify fish species, to estimate their age and their size. This information is useful for studies like population management, feeding habits and archaeology. The relationship between the length of a fish and the length of its otoliths is lacking for the species living in the Omani waters (Sea of Oman and the Arabian Sea coasts of Oman). Therefore, the regressions between otolith size (length and width) and fish length in the lutjanid fish, Lutjanus bengalensis from the coast of Muscat are provided. ANCOVA test showed no difference in length and width of the right and left otolith of fish. Similarly, no significant difference was observed between regressions of length and width of otolith over fish size, so a single linear regression was plotted against total length (TL) for otolith length (OL) and otolith width (OW). Analysing the morphometric relationships, we concluded that otolith length and width are good indicators of fish total length in the species studied.

Keywords: Otolith length, otolith width, fish length, relationship, Lutjanus, Muscat City, Sea of Oman


Ainley, D.G., Anderson, D.W., Kelly, P.R. (1981) Feeding ecology of marine cormorants in southwestern North America. Condor 83: 120- 131.

Allen, G.R. (1985) Snappers of the world. FAO Species Catalogue 6:vi+208pp.

Aydin, R., Calta, M., Sen, D., Coban, M.Z. (2004) Relationships between fish lengths and otolith length in the population of Chondrostoma regium (Heckel, 1843) inhabiting Keban Dam Lake. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 7: 1550-1553.

Battaglia P., Malara D., Romeo T., Andaloro F. (2010) Relationship between otolith size and fish size in some mesopelagic and bathypelagic species from the Mediterranean Sea (Strait of Messina), Italy. Marine Science 74: 605-612.

Boehlert, G.W. (1985) Using objective criteria and multiple regression models for age determination in fishes. Fishery Bulletin 83: 103-117.

Campana S.E., Casselman J. M. (1993) Stock discrimination using otolith shape analysis. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 50: 1062-1083.

Campana S.E. (2004) Photographic atlas of fish otoliths of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. pp. 284 Ottawa, Ontario: NRC Research Press.

Echeveria, T.W. (1987) Relationship of otolith length to total length in rockfishes from northern and central California. Fishery Bulletin 85: 383-387.

Fitch, J.E. (1964) The fish fauna of the Playa del Rey Locality, a southern California marine Pleistocene deposit. Los Angeles City Museum Contribution Science 82: 3-35.

Fitch, J.E. (1969) Fossil records of certain schooling fishes of the California current system. CalCOFI Reports 13: 71-80.

Fowler J., Cohen L. (1992) Practical statistics for field biology. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, New York, Brisbane, Toronto, 227pp.

Gamboa D.A. (1991) Otolith Size versus Weight and Body-Length Relationships for Eleven Fish Species of Baja California, Mexico. Fisheries Bulletin U.S. 89: 701-706.

Granadeiro J. P., Silva M. A. (2000) The use of otoliths and vertebrae in the identification and size-estimation of fish in predator prey studies. Cybium 24: 383-393.

Harvey J.T., oughlin T.R., Perez M.A., Oxman D.S. (2000) Relationship between fish size and otolith length for 63 species of fishes from the eastern North Pacific Ocean. NOAA Technical Report NMFS 150: pp. 35.

Joblin M., Breiby A. (1986) The use and abuse of fish otoliths in studies of feeding habits of marine piscivores. Sarsia 71: 265-274.

Katayama S., Isshiki T. (2007) Variation in otolith macrostructure of Japanese flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus): a method to discriminate between wild and released fish. Journal of Sea Research 57:180–186.

Khalid M.H. (2007) Food items of some piscivorous fishes obtained from the Sea of Oman. Quarterly Report, Ministry of Environment, Iran, 345pp.

Linkowski T.B. (1991) Otolith microstructure and growth patterns during the early life history of lanternfishes (family Myctophidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology 69: 1777-1792.

Lombarte A., Lleonart J. (1993) Otolith size changes related with body growth, habitat depth and body temperature. Environmental Biology of Fish 37:297–306.

Lombarte A., Chic Ò., Parisi-Baradad V., Olivellai R., Piera J., García-Ladona E. (2006) A web-based environment from shape analysis of fish otoliths. The AFORO database ( Scientia Marina 70: 147-152.

Mérigot B., Letourneur Y., Lecomte-Finiger R. (2007) Characterization of localpopulations of the common sole Solea solea (Pisces: Soleidae) in the NW Mediterranean through otolith morphometrics and shape analysis. Marine Biology 151: 997-1008.

Nishimura A., Yamada J. (1988) Geographical differences in early growth of walleye Pollock Theragra chalcogramma, estimated by back-calculation of otolith daily growth increments. Marine Biology 97: 459-465.

Randall J.E. (1995) Coastal fishes of Oman. Bathurst, Australia: Crawford House Publishing Pty Ltd. 439pp.

Reichenbacher B., Kamrani E., Esmaeili H.R., Teimori A. (2009) The endangered cyprinodont Aphanius ginaonis (Holly, 1929) from 125 southern Iran is a valid species: evidence from otolith morphology. Environmental Biology of Fishes 86: 504-521.

Saad S. Y. (2005) On the food items of some piscivorous fishes collected from the Sea of Oman. Annual Report, Ministry of Environment 456pp.

Santos M.B., Clarkei M.R., Pierce G.J. (2001) Assessing the importance of cephalopods in the diets of marine mammals and other top predators: problems and solutions. Fisheries Research 2: 121-129.

Strong M. B., Neilson J., Hunt J. (1986) Aberrant crystallization of Pollock otoliths. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 43: 1457-1463.

Sulaiman D.F., Hameedi N.B., Ilahii U.K. (2007) Food and feeding habits of some piscivorous fishes collected from the Sea of Oman. Scientific Report No. 5, Ministry of Fisheries, Iran, 98pp.

Sumerfelt R.C., Hall G.E., (Eds.) (1987). The age and growth of fish. Iowa State University Press, Ames, 544p.

Templemann W., Squires H.J. (1956) Relationship of otolith lengths and weights in the haddock, Melanogrammus aeglefinus (L.), to the growth of the fish. Journal of Fisheries Research Board of Canada 13: 467-487.

Treacy S.D., Crawford T.W. (1981) Retrieval of otoliths and statoliths from gastrointestinal contents and scats of marine mammals. Journal of Wildlife Management 45: 990-993.

Tripple E.A., Beamish F.W.H. (1987) Characterizing piscivory from ingested remains. Transaction of the American Fisheries Society 116: 773-776.

Trout G.C. (1954) Otolith growth of the Barents Sea cod. Rapp.P-v. Reun. Cons. Int. Explor. Mer 150:297-299.

Tuset V.M., Lombarte A., Assis C.A. (2003) Otolith atlas for the western Mediterranean, north and central eastern Atlantic. Scientia Marina 72S1: 7-198.

Waessle J.A., Lasta C.A., Bavero M. (2003) Otolith morphology and body size relationships for juvenile Sciaenidae in the Río de la Plata estuary (35-36°S). Scientia Marina 67: 233-240.

Wyllie E.T. (1987) Relationship of otolith length to total length in rockfishes from northern and central California. Fishery Bulletin 85: 383-387.