Patterns of reproduction and development of selected resident teleosts of Florida salt marshes.
A wide variety of teleost fishes occur in tidal marshes of Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida, few of which breed in these habitats or remain there for extended periods of time. A significant fraction of teleosts that do so are members of one of five families. Eleven representative species belonging to these families, whose reproduction and development are considered here, include: Adinia xenica, Fundulus confluentus, F. grandis and F. similis (Fundulidae); Cyprinodon variegatus, Floridichthys carpio and Jordanella floridae (Cyprinodontidae); Gambusia holbrooki and Poecilia latipinna (Poeciliidae); Mugil cephalus (Mugilidae); and Dormitator maculatus (Eleotridae). Spawning or birth locations, patterns of growth and development, times of use of the salt marsh as a nursery area, and development of salinity tolerances/osmotic regulatory capabilities were evaluated for each, considering these in the context of variability of environmental conditions, especially of salinity. Five different patterns of reproduction are shown by these 11 species, and only A. xenica appears to be limited to reproducing in the salt marsh environment. Some of these species are capable of reproducing throughout the year. Several of the species are annuals, most others live only 2 or 3 years. Eight species (those other than M. cephalus, A. xenica and G. holbrooki) were found to show no size relationship, large juvenile to adult sizes, in osmotic regulatory capabilities.