Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 102, Issue 2, pp 221–232 | Cite as

Bonefish (Albula vulpes) oocyte lipid class and fatty acid composition related to their development

  • Sahar MejriEmail author
  • Cameron Luck
  • Rejean Tremblay
  • Marty Riche
  • Aaron Adams
  • Matthew J. Ajemian
  • Jonathan Shenker
  • Paul S. Wills


Bonefish (Albula vulpes) are a valuable fishery resource of tropical and subtropical ecosystems worldwide. Despite their importance, there is limited information on bonefish life history and ecology. The present study aims to describe, for the first time, oocytes development and their lipid characteristics in wild bonefish during the reproductive season in different tidal flat locations in Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas. Our results have shown that Bonefish follow group-synchronous ovarian development and produce lipid-rich eggs [total lipid (TL) content was >26% of wet mass (WM)]. The major lipid class was a neutral lipid: the wax esters and steryl esters (WE-SE; >48% of TL), suggesting their use to support buoyancy and/or energy storage. Fatty acid (FA) composition of bonefish oocytes was characterized by high levels of monoenes in the neutral lipid fraction (i.e. 16:1 and 18:1n-9) indicating their probable role as energy fuel. However, the most abundant fatty acids in the polar lipids were docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6 n-3 > 15% of total polar FA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5 n-3 > 13% of total polar FA) and arachidonic acid (ARA; 20:4 n-6 > 4% of total polar FA) which were selectively conserved among the tidal flat locations, suggesting their importance as essential constituents of cell membranes during the development of bonefish oocytes. Our results bring useful information concerning the reproductive physiology of bonefish and not only serve as a benchmark for determining the nutrient requirements to produce high quality eggs from bonefish captive broodstock, but also will help establish meaningful management practices for this species.


Bonefish Oocytes Lipid Fatty acid Wax esters and steryl esters 



fatty alcohol


arachidonic acid


Barbary beach


cortical alveolus


Crabbing Bay east


docosahexaenoic acid


essential fatty acids


eicosapentaenoic acid


fatty acid


free fatty acids






late vitellogenic


monunsaturated fatty acids




primary growth


polyunsaturated fatty acids


South Deep Water Caye


saturated fatty acids






total lipids


wax ester - steryl ester


wet mass



This study was financially supported by Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). We are grateful to J. Lewis, W. Halstead, Z. Nilles, and C. Robinson for their extensive help during fieldwork and lab work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

The experimental protocol received approval from the Florida Atlantic University’s Institutional Animal Care and use Committee (IACUC, protocol A16–34).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sahar Mejri
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cameron Luck
    • 1
  • Rejean Tremblay
    • 2
  • Marty Riche
    • 1
  • Aaron Adams
    • 1
    • 3
  • Matthew J. Ajemian
    • 1
  • Jonathan Shenker
    • 4
  • Paul S. Wills
    • 1
  1. 1.Harbor Branch Oceanographic InstituteFlorida Atlantic UniversityFort PierceUSA
  2. 2.Institut des Sciences de la MerUniversité du Québec à Rimouski (ISMER, UQAR)RimouskiCanada
  3. 3.Bonefish and Tarpon TrustCoral GablesUSA
  4. 4.Florida Institute of TechnologyMelbourneUSA

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