Indian Journal of Animal Research

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Indian Journal of Animal Research, volume 58 issue 2 (february 2024) : 336-341

Length-weight Relationship and Condition Factor of Siluriformes Fish Species, Endangered Eutropiichthys vacha, Hamilton (1922) and Endemic Deccan Catfish Rita kuturnee (Sykes, 1839) of Godavari River Andhra Pradesh, South India

N. Veerabhadra Rao1, P. Jawahar2, N. Jayakumar3, N.V. Sujathkumar4, V. Rani5, Ramesh Rathod6, Hari Prasad Mohale1,*, K. Karuppasamy7, N.R. Kalavathi7
1Fisheries College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Dr. J. Jayalalithaa Fisheries University, Thoothukudi-628 008, Tamil Nadu, India.
2Tamil Nadu Dr. J. Jayalalithaa Fisheries University, Vettar River View Campus, Nagapattinam, 611 002, Tamil Nadu, India.
3Department of Fisheries Biology and Resource Management, Fisheries College and Research Institute, Thoothukudi- 628 008, Tamil Nadu, India.
4Department of Fisheries Extension, Economic and Statistics, Fisheries College and Research Institute, Thoothukudi- 628 008, Tamil Nadu
5Department of Aquatic Environment Management, Fisheries College and Research Institute, Thoothukudi-628 008, Tamil Nadu, India.
6Regional Centre for Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Vijayawada-521 137, Andhra Pradesh, India.
7Dr. M.G.R. Fisheries College and Research Institute, Ponneri-601 204, Tamil Nadu, India.
Cite article:- Rao Veerabhadra N., Jawahar P., Jayakumar N., Sujathkumar N.V., Rani V., Rathod Ramesh, Mohale Prasad Hari, Karuppasamy K., Kalavathi N.R. (2024). Length-weight Relationship and Condition Factor of Siluriformes Fish Species, Endangered Eutropiichthys vacha, Hamilton (1922) and Endemic Deccan Catfish Rita kuturnee (Sykes, 1839) of Godavari River Andhra Pradesh, South India . Indian Journal of Animal Research. 58(2): 336-341. doi: 10.18805/IJAR.B-5222.

Background: The present study of the length-weight relationship and condition factors of two Eutropiichthys vacha and Rita kuturnee, from Godavari River Andhra Pradesh, from the year August 2021 to July 2023 at fortnightly intervals. 

Methods: The log transformation formula was employed to establish length-weight relationships (LWRs) [3]. The length-weight equation used was W = aLb, in the usual notations. Linear regression of the log-transformed equation, log(W) = log(a) + b log(L), was utilized to calculate the parameters ‘a’ (intercept) and ‘b’ (slope) of the relationship. 

Result: A total of 1453 specimens of E. vacha and 1273 specimens of R. kuturnee were collected by using gill nets. The collected specimens exhibited a total length range of 10 to 27 cm for E. vacha and 7 to 18.5 cm for R. kuturnee. Correspondingly, the body weight range was recorded as 12 to 140 gm for E. vacha and 8 to 50 gm for R. kuturnee. Statistical analysis revealed a negative allometric growth trend for both males and females of E. vacha and R. kuturnee, with b values ranging from 2.569 to 2.711 for E. vacha and 2.53 to 2.61 for R. kuturnee. The fluctuation in the relative condition factor ranged from 1.06 to 1.09 for E. vacha and 1.001 to 1.12 for R. kuturnee. Furthermore, the overall health conditions of these two species were determined to be favorable.

The length-weight relationship is a fundamental parameter that provides valuable information regarding the fish stock’s condition. Fisheries management and conservation efforts rely on accurate knowledge of body weight for regulating catches and estimating biomass. The asymptotic weight is one the important parameter for fitting yield models in population dynamics. The relationship between weight (W) and length (L) can be represented by the length-weight relationship (LWR) equation:
W = a Lb
W = Denotes weight.
L = Represents length.
a and b = Constants specific to each species.
Understanding this relationship provides information  on fish population growth and condition, as well as possible changes caused by environmental factors such as habitat deterioration, pollution and resource availability. It is also beneficial for comparing the life histories and morphological characteristics of populations from different regions (Stergiou and Moutopoulos, 1951; Gonçalves  et al., 1997).
The condition factor, a crucial parameter, serves as an indicator of the general well-being and nutritional status of fish, providing insights into variations in fish condition through deviations from the expected values obtained by calculating the ratio of observed weight to the expected weight for a given length. Multiple factors, including food availability, competition, habitat quality and reproductive activities, exert influence on the condition of fish. By assessing the condition factor, can effectively evaluate the holistic health and vitality of fish populations, thereby identifying potential stressors or disturbances within their environment. This study focuses on the two significant fish species, E. vacha and R. kuturnee, inhabiting the Godavari River. To date, no scientific investigations have been conducted on the length-weight relationships and condition factors of E. vacha and R. kuturnee specifically within the Godavari River. Consequently, undertaking an examination of the length-weight relationships and condition factors of these species will contribute to advancing our comprehension of their growth dynamics and facilitate the formulation of suitable conservation strategies.
This study was conducted in the Godavari River (Fig 1) Andhra Pradesh, from the year August 2021 to July 2023 at fortnightly intervals. Fish samples were collected for the research with the help of local fishermen. Morphometric measurements such as total length (TL) were measured to the nearest millimeter and total weight (W) was recorded to the nearest milligram. The log transformation formula was employed to establish length-weight relationships (LWRs) (Le Cren, 1951). The length-weight equation used was W = aLb, in the usual notations in gm and cm respectively. Linear regression of the log-transformed equation was utilized to calculate the parameters ‘a’ (intercept) and ‘b’ (slope) of the relationship.
log (W) = log(a) + b log(L)
The coefficient of determination (r2) was calculated to evaluate the predictive quality of the linear regression model. The relative condition factor (Kn) was determined to assess the growth condition of the fish species. Kn is defined as:
Kn = Wo/Wc
Wo = Observed weight.
Wc = Calculated weight (Le Cren, 1951).

Fig 1: Map showing sampling area in Godavari River Andhra Pradesh.

A Kn value of ≥1 indicates a good growth condition, while a Kn value of <1 suggests a poor growth condition compared to an average individual of the same length.
Table 1 and Fig 2 present the statistical analysis of various parameters including sample size (number of observed specimens), total length (TL), body weight (BW) and length-weight relationship (LWR) parameters ‘a’ and ‘b’ with 95% confidence intervals, coefficient of determination (r2) and condition factor for both male and female individuals of E. vacha and R. kuturnee. In this study, a total of 1453 E. vacha individuals were examined, comprising 732 males and 721 females. The TL of male E. vacha ranged from 10 cm to 25 cm, while that of females ranged from 11 cm to 27 cm. The total length (TL) for E. vacha was reported as 30.0 cm from Bangladesh (Rahman, 1989) and 37.00 cm from the Ganga River, India (Tripathi and Gopesh, 2017). Compare to the present study lower lengths were recorded from the Jamuna River, Bangladesh i.e, 16.95 cm (Sungai et al., 2013), 25.8 cm in the lower part of the Ganges River (Hossain et al., 2009) and 21.50 cm in the Gomti River (Sani et al., 2010). The observed variations in TL can be attributed to geographical location and environmental factors, particularly water temperature and food availability (Hossain and Ohtomi, 2010). For R. kuturnee, a total of 1273 individuals were examined, including 644 males and 629 females. The TL of male R. kuturnee ranged from 7 cm to 18 cm, while that of females ranged from 8 cm to 18.5 cm.

Table 1: Descriptive statistics and estimated relationships between the total length (cm) and weight (g) (LWRs) of E. vacha and R. kuturnee collected from Godavari River Andhra Pradesh


Fig 2: Length-weight relationships of two species collected from Godavari River Andhra Pradesh.

The ‘b’ values estimated and analysis of variance for female, male and pooled sexes of E. vacha and R. kuturnee (Table 2 and 3) fell within the expected range of 2.5-3.5 and their no significant difference between both of fish species growth (Froese, 2006). These values were significantly lower than 3, suggesting a negative allometric growth pattern, which could be attributed to a narrow size range observed in these fish species. The correlation coefficient values (r2) for the length-weight regression ranged from 0.88 to 0.94. These high positive correlation coefficients indicate a strong relationship between total length and total weight, indicating that as the species’ size increases, so does its weight. Similar negative allometric growth pattern for the combined sexes of E. vacha in the Padma (lower Ganges River) River, Bangladesh (Hossain et al.,  2006, 2009, 2010). Furthermore, negative allometric growth was reported for the female population from the Jamuna River, Bangladesh (Hossain et al., 2016) and the Indus River, Pakistan (Soomro et al., 2007; Sungai et al., 2013). A negative allometric growth pattern was noticed for both male (b=2.83) and female (b=2.78) populations of E. vacha from the Ganga River in northwestern Bangladesh (Khatun et al., 2018). Conversely, isometric growth (Soomro et al., 2007) and positive allometric growth pattern (Sungai et al., 2013) for male populations of E. vacha from the Jamuna River, Bangladesh and Indus River, Pakistan, respectively.

Table 2: ANOVA analysis of the species of E. vacha.


Table 3: ANOVA analysis of the species of R. kuturnee.

The condition factor, which is influenced by both biotic and abiotic environmental factors, serves as a valuable indicator for monitoring feeding intensity, growth rates and fish population (Oni et al., 1983; Blackwell et al., 2000). Additionally, it can be utilized as an index to assess the overall condition of the aquatic ecosystem in which the fish habitat exists (Barnham and Baxter, 1998). The condition factor (Kn), close to or equal to 1 indicates a satisfactory fitness level for fish species (Le Cren, 1951; Jisr et al., 2018). The study revealed that the relative condition factor (Kn) for male, female and pooled sex E. vacha was found to be 1.09, 1.060 and 1.07 respectively. Similarly, for R.  kuturnee, the Kn values varied between males (1.012) and females (1.12), with a pooled sex ratio Kn value closer to the ideal condition (1.001). These findings indicate that Kn values greater than 1 are associated with good growth conditions, suggesting that these fish thrive in favorable environments. Previous studies for E. vacha in the Padma River, northwestern Bangladesh, reported that the Kn values ranged from 0.78 to 1.12 for males, 1.0 to 1.29 for females and 0.9 to 1.28 for combined sexes (Hossain, 2010). Similarly, the relative condition factor for E. vacha in the Ganga River, northwestern Bangladesh, with a range of 0.7747 to 1.49 for males, 0.39 to 0.6654 for females and 0.7552 to 1.457 for combined sexes (Khatun et al., 2018).
The observed variations in length-weight relationship (LWR) and condition factors can be attributed to several factors such as sex, gonad ripeness, habitat availability, seasonal effects, level of stomach fullness, fish health, preservation method and variations in the length class under examination (Sungai et al., 2013). It is important to note that the present study did not take into account any of these influential factors on LWRs and condition factors in the studied fishes (Ferosekhan et al., 2022; Sarkar et al., 2013).
The length-weight relationship (LWR) and condition factor (Kn) data are currently lacking for Rita kuturnee, with available information limited to Rita rita and R. chrysea.  However, Limited information is available on LWRs and Kn for E. vacha. Hence these data provide baseline information for various biological studies aimed at assessing the sustainability of fishery production and managing their populations effectively. The first author would like to thank the Dean of Dr. M.G.R Fisheries College and Research Institute Ponneri for their constant support, encouragement and facilities provided during the study period.
The design and structuring of the article’s topic involved input from all of the authors. P. Jawahar came up with the idea for the subject and set of review articles. N. Jayakumar proposed it after reviewing the original script. Up until the final text, all authors must be read, suggested and given a lot of assistance. 
No funding agencies.
The present information is searched and analyzed by the corresponding author.
Not applicable.
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Not applicable.
Not applicable.
The author declares that they have no conflicts of interest.

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