Ichthyological Research

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 192–201 | Cite as

Comparative analysis of otolith morphology in three species of Scomber

  • Tao He
  • Jiao Cheng
  • Jian-guang Qin
  • Yun Li
  • Tian-xiang Gao
Full Paper


Geometric morphometrics is a quick and reliable approach to differentiate fish stocks based on the variation of otolith shapes. In this study, morphometric analysis of otolith shapes was used to differentiate three species of Scomber. The sagittae morphology of S. scombrus otolith is totally different from that of S. japonicus and S. australasicus. Multivariate analysis consistently showed that S. japonicus was morphologically similar to S. australasicus, whereas a significant difference in otolith shapes was detected between S. scombrus and other two species of Scomber. The rostrum, antirostrum, excisural notch and dorsal-posterior margin of the otolith reflect the main variations between the three species of Scomber. Shape indices and Fourier coefficients were used to discriminate fish species using analysis of variance and Fisher discriminant analysis. The shape indices successfully differentiated 100%, 95.7% and 96.4% of otoliths in S. japonicus, S. australasicus and S. scombrus, respectively, while the Fourier coefficients only discriminated 70.0%, 61.9% and 91.3% of the sagittae in S. japonicus, S. australasicus and S. scombrus. This study indicates that the shape analysis on the sagittae morphometrics of otoliths is a better method to differentiate species of Scomber.


Scomber Otolith morphology Shape indices Fourier analysis Discrimination function 



This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41776171), International Science and Technology Cooperation Program of China (No. 2015DFR30450), Public Science and Technology Research Funds Projects of Ocean (No. 201505025), Chongqing Research Program of Basic Research and Frontier Technology (No. cstc2016jcyjA0327), Genetic Resources Conservation Grant (Fisheries) from the Ministry of Agriculture of the P. R. China (No. 171721301354052181) and Ecological Fishery Industrial Technology System Project from Chongqing Municipal Agriculture Commission (Grant to YL). Tao He is grateful for the support of the China Scholarship Council (201508505111) with the visiting scholar programs to Flinders University. All procedures performed complied with the ethical standards and guidelines of Zhejiang Ocean University of China.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 12 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 12 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Animal Science and TechnologySouthwest UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Freshwater Fish Reproduction and Development (Ministry of Education), Key Laboratory of Aquatic Science of ChongqingChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Science and EngineeringFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Fishery CollegeZhejiang Ocean UniversityZhoushanPeople’s Republic of China

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