On this page...

In his recent paper, Jeff Leis provides more information about the life of larval fishes.

Larval fish following
Amanda Hay and Jeff Leis 'larval following' in Nanwan Bay, Taiwan, July 2004. Image: Kun-Ping Kan
© Kun-Ping Kan


The following points list a number of the interesting findings given in the paper.

  • Larval fishes swim in the oceans at speeds similar to the currents found in many locations and at 3 to 15 body lengths per second.
  • Species from cold environments swim more slowly than those from warm environments.
  • Larval fishes are efficient swimmers.
  • Most species have oriented swimming in the ocean.
  • The vertical distribution of larval fish species changes with growth.
  • Sensory abilities (hearing, olfaction and vision) form early.
  • Behaviour must be taken into account when considering dispersal.
  • More research in the field is required, especially for colder water species.

Leis, J.M, 2010. Ontogeny of behaviour in larvae of marine demersal fishes. Ichthyological Research. 57: 325–342.