Morphometric and meristic characteristics of poor cod, Trisopterus minutus (L. 1758), from the eastern central Adriatic Sea
Background and Purpose: Poor cod, Trisopterus minutus (Linnaeus, 1758) is a gadoid fish, which inhabits the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic. The aim of present work was to investigate the morphological properties of poor cod in the eastern central Adriatic Sea by analyzing classical morphometric and meristic characteristics, and thereby investigating: a) whether there are morphological differences between males and females; b) the existence of possible homogenous or heterogeneous stock morphology; and c) the changes in morphometric characteristics with increase in body length.
Material and methods: Samples of 410 poor cod specimens (209 females, 201 males) were collected by bottom-trawl between 2014 and 2016 from five localities in the eastern central Adriatic Sea. In order to analyze biometry of the species; fifteen morphometric and eight meristic characteristics were measured.
Results and Conclusions: Total length of all specimens ranged from 8.8 to 27.1 cm. Morphological differences between males and females was not marked. Biometric analysis of the morphometric and meristic characteristics indicated a homogenous morphology stock of Trisopterus minutus in the Adriatic Sea. Changes in some morphometric characteristics obtained in conjunction with an increase in body length showed that smaller specimens have a longer head, eye diameter, ventral fins and second anal fins than adult specimens. The negative correlation recorded for the maximum and minimum body depth indicated that the body elongated with poor cod growth. Comparison of the meristic characteristics that were published earlier show some differences between the poor cod populations inhabiting the Adriatic, Black Sea and eastern Atlantic.
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