A study on elemental composition in the otolith of giant mudskipper, Periophthalmodon schlosseri, was done from June to October 2003. Specimens were obtained from the mangrove areas of Kuala Selangor, Sepang and Melaka in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. A total of 70 sagitta otoliths were analyzed to detect variation of Sr, Ba and Mg, replacing the natural chemical composition of the otolith, which is the calcium carbonate (CaCO3). The average ratio of Sr:Ca was 0.11 x 10(-4), Ba:Ca was 5.7 x 10(-3) and Mg:Ca was 0.2 x 10(-3). Strong correlation (R > 0.8) between fish body size and otolith weight ofmudskipper (p < 0.01) also found during this study.
Tenualosa ilisha was found recently in the Perak River in western Peninsular Malaysia. Molecular phylogenetic and haplotype network analyses suggest that T. ilisha has two genetically distinct populations/groups: (i) Peninsular Malaysia (Malaysia population), and (ii) Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand, India and Bangladesh (Indian Ocean population). The results also suggest that the T ilisha population in Peninsular Malaysia is genetically heterogeneous with a typical anadromous migration pattern.
Fish movements between aquatic habitats of different salinity ranges (fresh, estuarine, marine) by the tropical catadromous eels Anguilla bicolor bicolor and A. bicolor pacifica were examined by analysing the otolith strontium and calcium concentrations of yellow (immature) and silver (mature) stage eels collected in south-east Asian (Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam) waters. The ratios suggest that all migratory-type eels, including freshwater, brackish water and marine residents, pass the river mouth. However, the habitat preference was different among the sites (countries). In Indonesia and Vietnam, most A. bicolor bicolor and A. bicolor pacifica were either marine or brackish water residents in this study. Alternatively, most A. bicolor bicolor were freshwater residents in Malaysia; such a typical catadromous migration pattern in these eels has not been found in previous studies. The wide range of otolith Sr:Ca in both subspecies indicates that the habitat use of these tropical eels was opportunistic among fresh, brackish and marine waters during their growth phases following recruitment to coastal areas. The geographical variability of migratory histories suggests that habitat use might be determined by the inter and intraspecific competition and environmental conditions at each site.
Anguillid eels of the genus Anguilla, which have a unique catadromous life history, are widely distributed across many parts of the world. However, little research has been conducted on the behavioural mechanisms of habitat segregation between sympatric species in tropical anguillid eels. To understand the ecological and behavioural mechanisms involved in the life history and migration of tropical anguillid eels, strontium (Sr):calcium (Ca) ratios were examined in otoliths of A. bengalensis bengalensis (41 specimens) and A. bicolor bicolor (130 specimens) collected from ten rivers in northwestern Peninsular Malaysia. The otolith Sr:Ca ratios revealed different habitat use between the two species. The broad range of otolith Sr:Ca ratios and habitat shift found in A. bicolor bicolor suggested that its habitat utilization was opportunistic in environments of varying salinity. A. bicolor bicolor prefers to live in the midstream to downstream areas with tidal influences. A. bengalensis bengalensis, however, was found to only reside in freshwater environments throughout their continental growth. A. bengalensis bengalensis tends to live in upstream area with no tidal influence. Their habitat use, migratory history, and habitat distribution indicate that habitat segregation occurs between the two species, leading to the different habitat preferences in tropical river systems.