Master of Science (MS)


Renewable Natural Resources

Document Type



The Gulf killifish (Fundulus grandis) is a topminnow native to the tidal marshes of the Gulf of Mexico. The species is prized by anglers as effective bait for catching popular sportfish and is of interest to aquaculturists and bait dealers due to its hardy nature. Limited seasonal availability and aquaculture of this species due to low fecundity and larval cannibalism of fry has led to increased incentive to improve cultural techniques. The purpose of this study is to determine the influences of temperature, salinity, and air incubation on embryogenesis of the Gulf killifish. Temperature was found to have a negative relationship with time to hatch and size at hatch when F. grandis eggs were incubated in 10 and 20 g/L saline treatments. Temperature did not significantly affect percent hatch at 10 g/L, but percent hatch displayed a positive relationship with temperature at 20 g/L. When incubated in 0.4, 7, 15, and 30 g/L salinity treatments, a negative relationship between salinity and rate of embryogenesis was detected. While larvae incubated in these salinities hatched at about the same size, reduced hatching percentages were reported in the 0.4 and 30 g/L treatments. A positive relationship between the rate of embryogenesis and temperature was observed in air incubated embryos. After reaching a stage of development when embryos are documented to hatch, temperature was observed to have a negative relationship with the extent of time hatch could be delayed. The results of this study can be used to improve culture practices for Gulf killifish. Larval size at hatch, percent hatch, and time to hatch can now be predicted across a range of temperatures and salinities. Warmer temperatures can be used to accelerate embryogenesis of air incubated embryos while colder temperatures can be used to extend the period of time hatch can be delayed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Green, Christopher C.