The doncella Pseudoplatystoma punctifer is an economically and ecologically important catfish in the Amazon basin. However, little is known about its age, growth and population dynamics parameters. This study aims to validate the formation of growth marks in vertebrae of individuals collected from two rivers systems of the Peruvian Amazon (Amazon-Marañón-Ucayali and Putumayo) and compare growth parameters using the von Bertalanffy growth function between sexes and systems. A total of 372 individuals from the Amazon-Marañón-Ucayali (AMU) system and 93 from the Putumayo River were analyzed. The formation of one growth ring per year was validated and the individual ages ranged from zero to nine years old. Females grew significantly larger than males in both systems. Both females and males grew significantly better in the AMU system than in the Putumayo River. Maximum observed length and size at maturity in the AMU system were lower than those reported in previous studies in the area, and together with an important proportion of juveniles in the catches, suggest that the species is heavily exploited. Further studies on the reproductive biology and population dynamics of the doncella are needed in order to implement management measures more in line with the current situation.
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