Chidozie Nwabuisi OKOYE, Susan Omuboba DAN-JUMBO, Ukamaka Uchenna EZE, Anietie Francis UDOUMOH, Onyinye Hulda UGWU, Anthony Chukwuwemeka OZOKOYE


This study investigated the age-related variations in the semen volume, sperm count, spermatocrit, testicular and genital papillae allometric values as well as testicular histomorphologies of cultured male broodstock Clarias gariepinus at 6, 9 and 12 months of age. Each of these months constituted an age group and had 10 fish for the study which was performed in duplicate. The semen samples in all the groups were observed to be viscid and milky in colour; and had over 80% sperm motility. The means of the left testes semen volume, left testes and right testes spermatocrit of the 6 months group were significantly lower (p<0.05) than those of the 9 and 12 months groups; while the 12 months group was significantly higher than those of 6 and 9 months. The means of the right testes, left testes and right testes sperm counts of the 6 months group were significantly lower (p<0.05) than those of the 9 and 12 months groups. Sections of the testes of these fish at 6, 9 and 12 month of age upon histological examination showed similar features of their germinal epithelia and the lumina of their seminiferous tubules.  It was concluded that 12 months old broodstock male catfish appear to be better candidates for spawning.


Clarias gariepinus, Age, Spermatozoa, Seminal vesicle, Testes, Semen, Spermatocrit

Full Text:



ADEYEMO, O. K., ADEYEMO, O. A., OYEYEMI, M. O. and AGBEDE, S. A. (2007). Effect of semen extenders on the motility and viability of stored African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) spermatozoa. Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management, 11(1): 13 – 16.

AGARWAL, N. K. and RAGHUVANSHI, S. K. (2009). Spermatocrit and sperm density in snow trout (Schizothorax richardsonii): correlation and variation during the breeding season. Aquaculture, 291(1): 61 – 64.

ALAVI, S. M. H., PSENICKA, M., RODINA, M., POLICAR, T. and LINHART, O. (2008). Changes of sperm morphology, volume, density and motility and seminal plasma composition in Barbus barbus (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) during the reproductive season. Aquatic Living Resources, 21(1): 75 – 80.

AMANN, R. P. and ALMQUIST, J. O. (1961). Reproductive capacity of dairy bulls. I. Technique for direct measurement of gonadal and extra-gonadal sperm reserves. Journal of Dairy Science, 44(8): 1537 – 1543.

AVMA (2013). American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2013 Edition, American Veterinary Medical Association. 1931 N. Meacham Road Schaumburg, IL 60173.

BART, A. N. and DUNHAM, R. A. (1990).Factors affecting survival of channel catfish after surgical removal of testes. The Progressive Fish Culturist, 52(4): 241 – 246.

BELOVA, N. V. (1981). The ecological and physiological peculiarities of sperm in pond cyprinids. Communication I. Production and ecological and physiological peculiarities of the sperm of cyprinids. Journal of Ichthyology, 21(3):90 – 102.

BÜYÜKHATIPOGLU, S. and HOLTZ, W. (1984). Sperm output in rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri): effect of age, timing and frequency of stripping and presence of females. Aquaculture, 37(1): 63 – 71.

CHAO, N. H., CHAO, W. C., LIU, K. C. and LIAO, I. (1987). The properties of tilapia sperm and its cryopreservation. Journal of Fish Biology, 30(2): 107 – 118.

CIERESZKO, A. and DABROWSKI, K. (1993). Estimation of sperm concentration of rainbow trout, whitefish and yellow perch using a spectrophotometric technique. Aquaculture, 109(3-4): 367 – 373.

DE GRAAF, G. J., GALEMONI, F. and BANZOUSSI, B. (1995). The artificial reproduction and fingerling production of the African catfish Clarias gariepinus (Burchell 1822) in protected and unprotected ponds. Aquaculture Research, 26: 233 – 242.

FAUVEL, C., SAVOYE, O., DREANNO, C., COSSON, J. and SUQUET, M. (1999). Characteristics of sperm of captive sea bass in relation to its fertilization potential. Journal of Fish Biology, 54(2): 356 – 369.

FAO (2012). The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture. Food and Agricultural Organisation, Geneva.

HULAK, M., RODINA, M. and LINHART, O. (2008). Characteristics of stripped and testicular northern pike (Esox lucius) sperm: spermatozoa motility and velocity. Aquatic Living Resources, 21: 207 – 212.

KRUGER, J. D. W., SMIT, G. L., VUREN, J. H. J. and FERREIRA, J. T. (1984). Some chemical and physical characteristics of the semen of Cyprinus carpio L. and Oreochromis mossambicus (Peters). Journal of Fish Biology, 24(3): 263 – 272.

KUMARI, S. (2014). Study on growth and reproductive behaviour in freshwater catfish (Heteropneustes fossilis). Scholars Academic Journal of Bioscience, 2(6): 380 – 383.

LINHART, O. and KVANISCKA, P. (1992). Artificial insemination in tench, Tinca tinca L. Aquaculture Research, 23(2): 183 – 188.

LOVSHIN, L. L., DA SILVA, A. B., CARNEIRO-SOBRINHO, A. and MELO, F. R. (1990). Effects of Oreochromis niloticus females on the growth and yield of male hybrids (O. niloticus X O. hornorum male) cultured in earthen ponds. Aquaculture, 88(1): 55 – 60.

METHVEN, D. A. and CRIM, L.W. (1991). Seasonal changes in spermatocrit, plasma sex steroids and motility of sperm from Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus). Page 170. In: SCOTT, A. P., SUMPTER, J. P, KIME, D. E. and ROLFE, M. S. (Eds.). Proceedings of 4th International Symposium of Reproductive Physiology of Fish, Sheffield.

MUNKITTRICK, K. R. and MOCCIA, D. (1987). Seasonal changes in the quality of rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) semen: effect of a delay in stripping on spermatocrit, motility, volume and seminal plasma constituents. Aquaculture, 64(2): 147 – 156.

MYLONAS, C. C., PAPADAKI, M. and DIVANACH, P. (2003). Seasonal changes in sperm production and quality in the red porgy Pagrus pagrus (L.). Aquaculture Research, 34(13): 1161 – 1170.

OKOYE, C. N., IGWEBUIKE, U. M., UDOUMOH, A. F. and OKEREKE, C. T. (2016). Testicular morphology and sperm motility in cultured African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) at different stages of development. Notulae Scientia Biologicae, 8(3): 281 – 285.

PICKER, M. and Griffiths, C. (2013). Alien and Invasive Animals: A South African Perspective. Random House Struik, Cape Town, South Africa.

PIIRONEN, J. (1985). Variation in the properties of milt from the Finnish landlocked salmon (Salmo salar m. Sebago Girard) during a spawning season. Aquaculture, 48(3-4): 337 – 350.

PIIRONEN, J. and HYVÄRINEN, H. (1983). Composition of the milt of some teleost fishes. Journal of Fish Biology, 22(3): 351 – 361.

RAINIS, S., MYLONAS, C. C., KYRIAKOU, Y. and DIVANACH, P. (2003). Enhancement of spermiation in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) at the end of the reproductive season using GnRHa implants. Aquaculture, 219(1): 873 – 890.

RAKITIN, A., FERGUSON, M. M. and TRIPPEL, E. A. (1999). Spermatocrit and spermatozoa density in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua): correlation and variation during the spawning season. Aquaculture, 170(3): 349 – 358.

ROFF, D. A. (1983). An allocation model of growth and reproduction in fish. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 40(9): 1395 – 1404.

RURANGWA, E., KIME, D. E., OLLEVIER, F. and NASH, J. P. (2004). The measurement of sperm motility and factors affecting sperm quality in cultured fish. Aquaculture, 234(1): 1 – 28.

SAFRIEL, O. and BRUTON, M. N. (1984). A cooperative aquaculture research programme for South Africa. South African National Scientific Programmes Report, 89: 1 – 79.

SKELTON, P. (2001). A Complete Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Southern Africa. Struik Publisher, Cape Town, South Africa.

SOLOMON, S. G., ATAGUBA, G. A., OKOMODA, V. T. and SOLOMON, P. (2015). Relationship between somatic, gonadal characteristics and semen quality in the male African catfish Clarias gariepinus broodstock. International Journal of Aquaculture, 5(29): 1 – 5.

STEYN, G. J. and Van VUREN J. H. J. (1987).The fertilizing capacity of cryopreserved sharptooth cattish (Clarias gariepinus) sperm. Aquaculture, 63(1-4): 187 – 193.

SUQUET, M., BILLARD, R., COSSON, J., DORANGE, G., CHAUVAUD, L., MUGNIER, C. and FAUVEL, C. (1994). Sperm features in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus): a comparison with other freshwater and marine fish species. Aquatic Living Resources, 7(4): 283 – 294.

SUQUET, M., OMNES, M. H., NORMANT, Y. and FAUVEL, C. (1992). Assessment of sperm concentration and motility in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus). Aquaculture, 101(1-2): 177 – 185.

TEUGELS, G. G. (1986). The nomenclature of African Clarias species used in Aquaculture. Aquaculture, 38(4): 373 – 374.

TVEDT, H. B., BENFEY, T. J., MARTIN-ROBICHAUD, D. J. and POWER J. (2001). The relationship between sperm density, spermatocrit, sperm motility and fertilization success in Atlantic halibut Hippoglossus hippoglossus. Aquaculture, 194(1): 191 – 200.

VAN DER WAAL, B. C. W. (1998). Survival strategies of sharptooth catfish Clarias gariepinus in desiccating pans in the northern Kruger National Park. Koedoe, 41(2): 131 – 138.

VERMA, D. K., ROUTRAY, P., DASH, C., DASGUPTA, S. and JENA, J. K. (2009). Physical and biochemical characteristics of semen and ultrastructure of spermatozoa in six carp species. Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 9(1): 67 – 76.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

A Publication of Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.