Pond loach

Misgurnus anguillicaudatus

Misgurnus anguillicaudatus (Pond loach)
Taxonomy
    • Osteichthyes
      • Cypriniformes
        • Cobitidae
          • Misgurnus anguillicaudatus

Information


Author: Caroline Marques Maia
Version: 2.0 (2022-02-04) - Revision 1 (2022-06-23)

Cite

Reviewers: Jenny Volstorf, Pablo Arechavala-Lopez
Editor: Jenny Volstorf

Cite as: »Marques Maia, Caroline. 2022. Misgurnus anguillicaudatus (Farm: Short Profile). In: FishEthoBase, ed. Fish Ethology and Welfare Group. World Wide Web electronic publication. First published 2021-12-31. Version 2.0 Revision 1. https://fishethobase.net.«





FishEthoScore/farm

Misgurnus anguillicaudatus
LiPoCe
Criteria
Home range
Depth range
Migration
Reproduction
Aggregation
Aggression
Substrate
Stress
Malformations
Slaughter


Condensed assessment of the species' likelihood and potential for good fish welfare in aquaculture, based on ethological findings for 10 crucial criteria.

Li = Likelihood that the individuals of the species experience good welfare under minimal farming conditions
Po = Potential of the individuals of the species to experience good welfare under high-standard farming conditions
Ce = Certainty of our findings in Likelihood and Potential

FishEthoScore = Sum of criteria scoring "High" (max. 10)

Legend

High
Medium
Low
Unclear
No findings



General remarks

Misgurnus anguillicaudatus is a freshwater fish species native to Asia that is popularly cultured in many East Asian countries. The increasing demand for this coolwater species has caused a major decline in the natural populations. M. anguillicaudatus, which is also used as live bait and a popular ornamental fish, was already introduced in European and North American countries, besides other countries like Australia. It is a fish species with a high invasive potential, and adverse ecological impact after introduction was already registered. M. anguillicaudatus is a demersal fish with natural polyploid individuals that is found in streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, ditches, swamps, and ricefields, usually preferring muddy bottoms, where it can hide in the muck and leaf litter. This fish is considered a fast-growing species with a flexible omnivorous diet and a great tolerance to hypoxia (it can use atmosphere oxygen for respiration), thermal variation, and high stocking density. It has a great commercial demand, with a high-grade nutritious meat that is tender and flavourful, and also a medical value, especially for Chinese medicine. Despite its commercial importance, relevant information about home range, aggression, and aggregation in natural conditions is still missing for this species. Moreover, further research about many information under farming conditions like substrate use, stress response, malformations, aggression, and the stunning and slaughtering process is needed.




1  Home range

Many species traverse in a limited horizontal space (even if just for a certain period of time per year); the home range may be described as a species' understanding of its environment (i.e., its cognitive map) for the most important resources it needs access to. What is the probability of providing the species' whole home range in captivity?

There are unclear findings for minimal and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILD: no data found yetFARM: tanks: 1.3 m2 (2.2 x 0.6 m) 1, 100 L 2 3 4.

JUVENILESWILD: no data found yetFARM: tanks: 1.3 m2 (2.2 x 0.6 m) 1; imitative ecological farming pond: 667 m5.

ADULTSWILD: no data found yetFARM: imitative ecological farming pond: 667 m5.

SPAWNERSWILD: ricefields: ~976 m2 6 with unclear home range use. FARM: cement ponds: 3.2 m2 7.




2  Depth range

Given the availability of resources (food, shelter) or the need to avoid predators, species spend their time within a certain depth range. What is the probability of providing the species' whole depth range in captivity?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is high for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILD: no data found yet. FARM: tanks: 0.4 m, DEMERSAL habit: settle on the bottom or attach to the tank wall 1LAB: PLANKTONIC stage before metamorphosis: newly hatched IND mostly settled to the bottom of tank, swam in different water levels at day 1, swam near the surface and in the middle level of the water column at day 3, scattered on the bottom after day 8, and spread in the water column at day 18-20 8.

JUVENILESWILD: DEMERSAL 9-10. Ditches: 0.1-0.4 m 11 12 6 13; streams: 0.1-0.8 m 11 6; lake: mean 4 m 14 with unclear depth range use. Non-native waters: streams: shallow swamp zones 15, margins of <1.2 m 16; 0.1-1.5 m 17 18FARM: tanks: 0.4 m, DEMERSAL habit 1LABBENTHIC stage after metamorphosis (from day 23-25 post hatching) 8.

ADULTSWILD: DEMERSAL 9-10. Ditches: 0.1-0.4 m 11 12 6 13; streams: 0.1-0.8 m 11 6; lake: mean 4 m 14 with unclear depth range use. Non-native waters: streams: shallow swamp zones 15, margins of <1.2 m 16; 0.1-1.5 m 17 18FARMno data found yet.

SPAWNERSWILD: ricefields: 0.01-0.1 m 13. Non-native waters: 0.2-0.5 m 17, streams: margins of <1.2 m 16FARM: cement ponds: 0.7 m 7.




3  Migration

Some species undergo seasonal changes of environments for different purposes (feeding, spawning, etc.) and with them, environmental parameters (photoperiod, temperature, salinity) may change, too. What is the probability of providing farming conditions that are compatible with the migrating or habitat-changing behaviour of the species?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

POTAMODROMOUS 6 19-13 20-13 21-13 11.

LARVAE and FRYWILD: 8-16 h PHOTOPERIOD, fresh water 6 1 10FARM: 16-24 h PHOTOPERIOD 3; tanks: 20.4-29 °C 2 3 4 1For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILESWILD: native and non-native waters: 8-16 h PHOTOPERIOD, fresh water 6 22 15 18 1 14 10; streams: 0.5-23 °C (winter-summer), ditches (probably): 9-18.5 °C (summer) 6. Possible migration from streams to ditches during winter 11FARM: tanks: 21-29 °C 1. For details of holding systems crit. 1 and 2.

ADULTSWILD: JUVENILESFARM: for details of holding systems crit. 1.

SPAWNERSWILD: 8-16 h PHOTOPERIOD, fresh water 6 1 10; ricefields: 7-27 °C (summer) 6; migrate from ditches and streams to ricefields for spawning in late spring/summer 6 19-13 20-13 21-13FARM: indoor concrete ponds 4: 20.5-23 °C (during spawning) 4 1, 25 °C 7. For details of holding systems crit. 1 and 2.




4  Reproduction

A species reproduces at a certain age, season, and sex ratio and possibly involving courtship rituals. What is the probability of the species reproducing naturally in captivity without manipulation?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

WILD: females mature at 1-2 years 23 24, males at 1 year 23 24, also in non-native waters 16; batch spawners 24, also in non-native waters 16, in mid-April 24 or mid-May 6 until August 6 or even early-October 24; sex ratio: 2 females:1 male 14FARM: batch spawners when hormonally induced 7. Successful induced spawning with a combination of domperidone hormone and gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist 4 or human chorionic gonadotropin 7 or luteinising hormone-releasing hormone analogue 1 followed by stripping eggs, which are then mixed with male milt  7 4LAB: courtship: post-ovulatory female released a sex pheromone which attracts male, which chased female, swam in parallel with her inserting his pectoral fin into her posterior part, lifting her to the water surface and then coiling around her trunk 25. Spawn naturally in indoor tanks under light- and temperature-controlled conditions 8. Successful ovulation in females 25 and spermiation in males by using human chorionic gonadotropin 26.




5  Aggregation

Species differ in the way they co-exist with conspecifics or other species from being solitary to aggregating unstructured, casually roaming in shoals or closely coordinating in schools of varying densities. What is the probability of providing farming conditions that are compatible with the aggregation behaviour of the species?

There are unclear findings for minimal and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILD: no data found yetFARM: tanks: 50 IND/L 2 3 4LAB: aggregate in schools until day 8 8.

JUVENILESWILD: non-native waters: higher density in inflow/outflow irrigating channels than in ricefields 27FARM: 60 IND/m2 5; imitative ecological farming ponds: 30 IND/m2 5; ricefields: 20-25 IND/m2 28-3.

ADULTSWILD JUVENILESFARM: 60 IND/m5; imitative ecological farming ponds: 30 IND/m5.

SPAWNERSWILD and FARMno data found yet.




6  Aggression

There is a range of adverse reactions in species, spanning from being relatively indifferent towards others to defending valuable resources (e.g., food, territory, mates) to actively attacking opponents. What is the probability of the species being non-aggressive and non-territorial in captivity?

There are no findings for minimal and high-standard farming conditions.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: no data found yet.

JUVENILES: no data found yet.

ADULTS: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: no data found yet.




7  Substrate

Depending on where in the water column the species lives, it differs in interacting with or relying on various substrates for feeding or covering purposes (e.g., plants, rocks and stones, sand and mud). What is the probability of providing the species' substrate and shelter needs in captivity?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is high for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILD: no data found yetFARM: for details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILESWILD: stream: sand (1-10 mm diameter) and plants Ranunculus nipponicus 6; ditches: concrete bottom with mud (<1-5 cm) or natural substrate with mud, sand, gravel, pebbles, and cobbles 12. BENTHIC feeder 11. Non-native waters: muddy 17 22, silt 17 27 or sandy 22, with a thick sediment layer 15 or concrete bottom (inflow/outflow channels irrigating ricefields) 27, but apparently prefer silty substrates layered with dead leaves and occasionally with vascular plants, are rarely found in rocky habitats 16; despite also reported in dense vegetation 15 such as aquatic macrophytes 17FARM: for details of holding systems crit. 1, 2, and 5.

ADULTSWILD:  JUVENILESFARM: for details of holding systems crit. 1.

SPAWNERSWILD: non-native waters: muddy or silt substrate, with aquatic macrophytes 17, but apparently prefer silty substrates layered with dead leaves and occasionally with vascular plants, are rarely found in rocky habitats 16FARM: for details of holding systems crit. 1 and 2.




8  Stress

Farming involves subjecting the species to diverse procedures (e.g., handling, air exposure, short-term confinement, short-term crowding, transport), sudden parameter changes or repeated disturbances (e.g., husbandry, size-grading). What is the probability of the species not being stressed?

There are no findings for minimal and high-standard farming conditions.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: no data found yet.

JUVENILESno data found yet.

ADULTSno data found yet.

SPAWNERSno data found yet.




9  Malformations

Deformities that – in contrast to diseases – are commonly irreversible may indicate sub-optimal rearing conditions (e.g., mechanical stress during hatching and rearing, environmental factors unless mentioned in crit. 3, aquatic pollutants, nutritional deficiencies) or a general incompatibility of the species with being farmed. What is the probability of the species being malformed rarely?

There are unclear findings for minimal and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYLARVAE did not survive beyond 12 days of starvation, and dead starved IND usually presented undeveloped gut and deformed vertebrae, first feeding should be initiated at 3 days after hatching for better growth and survival 4.

JUVENILESno data found yet.

ADULTSno data found yet.




10  Slaughter

The cornerstone for a humane treatment is that slaughter a) immediately follows stunning (i.e., while the individual is unconscious), b) happens according to a clear and reproducible set of instructions verified under farming conditions, and c) avoids pain, suffering, and distress. What is the probability of the species being slaughtered according to a humane slaughter protocol?

There are no findings for minimal and high-standard farming conditions.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

Common and high-standard slaughter method: no data found yet.




11  Side note: Domestication

Teletchea and Fontaine introduced 5 domestication levels illustrating how far species are from having their life cycle closed in captivity without wild input, how long they have been reared in captivity, and whether breeding programmes are in place. What is the species’ domestication level?

DOMESTICATION LEVEL 2 29, level 5 being fully domesticated.




12  Side note: Forage fish in the feed

450-1,000 milliard wild-caught fishes end up being processed into fish meal and fish oil each year which contributes to overfishing and represents enormous suffering. There is a broad range of feeding types within species reared in captivity. To what degree may fish meal and fish oil based on forage fish be replaced by non-forage fishery components (e.g., poultry blood meal) or sustainable sources (e.g., soybean cake)?

All age classes: WILD: omnivorous: smaller and younger IND are more carnivorous, larger and older ones are more herbivorous 30-23 31-10 12, in non-native waters: feeding on macroinvertebrates 17 15 18, detritus 17 18, and vegetation 18; considered as generalist BENTHIC macroinvertebrate feeder 16FARM: no data found yetLAB: detritus feeder 23. Fish oil may be completely* replaced by sustainable sources 32.

*partly = <51% – mostly = 51-99% – completely = 100%.




Glossary


LARVAE = hatching to mouth opening, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
FRY = larvae from external feeding on, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
WILD = setting in the wild
FARM = setting in farm environment
JUVENILES = fully developed but immature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
ADULTS = mature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
SPAWNERS = adults that are kept as broodstock
DEMERSAL = living and feeding on or near the bottom of a body of water, mostly benthopelagic, some benthic
LAB = setting in laboratory environment
PLANKTONIC = horizontal movement limited to hydrodynamic displacement
IND = individuals
BENTHIC = living at the bottom of a body of water, able to rest on the floor
POTAMODROMOUS = migrating within fresh water
PHOTOPERIOD = duration of daylight
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 2 = part of the life cycle closed in captivity, also known as capture-based aquaculture 29



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