Hypometabolism in torpid goldsinny wrasse subjected to rapid reductions in seawater temperature

Martin Sayer, John Davenport

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Goldsinny Ctenolabrus rupestris were subjected to rapid, environmentally realistic, reductions in temperature at 2 degrees C increments from 10 to 4 degrees C over a 3-day period in full-strength sea water. In separate experiments, oxygen uptake measurements and ultrasound recordings of heart rate and opercular motion were carried out at regular intervals over the same temperature regime. Mean oxygen uptake rates fell from 0 . 042 to 0 . 028 ml O-2 g(-1) h(-1) between 10 and 6 degrees C respectively (Q(10)=2 . 71). Between 6 and 4 degrees C mean rates decreased from 0 . 028 to 0 . 008 ml O-2 g(-1) h(-1) (Q(10)=542). Mean opercular motion and heart beat rates decreased from 49 . 5 and 60 . 3 beats min(-1) respectively at 10 degrees C to 18 . 7 and 18 . 0 beats min(-1) respectively at 4 degrees C. Most goldsinny subjected to 4 degrees C were observed in a torpid state and would not react to external stimulation. Opercular motion was erratic at 4 degrees C and would at times cease altogether for periods up to 1 . 3 min duration. Heart movement was difficult to detect at 4 degrees C and may also have ceased for prolonged periods. Q(10) values for opercular motion and heart beat rates recorded between 6 and 4 degrees C were 6 . 39 and 24 . 52 respectively compared with values of 2 . 42 and 2 . 93 respectively recorded between 10 and 8 degrees C. Such large depressions in metabolism appear not to have been reported previously for a marine fish species. No goldsinny mortalities were recorded at any temperature. The possibility that hypometabolic torpor is an adaptive strategy for goldsinny survival at low environmental temperatures is discussed. (C) 1996 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-75
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Marine & Freshwater Biology
  • Fisheries
  • FISH


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