Study finds male Terubuk changes gender as it matures

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 26 Oct 2014

KUCHING: Scientific studies have shown that the male Terubuk or big-mouthed shad, also known as tenualosa toli, can change into a female when it reaches maturity.

Sarawak Agriculture Depart­ment director Datuk Lai Kui Fong said the fish had been registered as geographical indication (GI) by the Intellectual Property Cor­po­ration of Malaysia (MyIPO).

The GI certificate for the big-mouthed Tenualosa toli was presented to the Sarawak Informa­­-tion Technology and Resources Council on May 12 this year.

This endemic species, as reveal­ed by scientific studies, was pro­tandous hermaphrodite, which means the male can evolve into a female when it reaches maturity, said Lai.

He said the delicious and sweet-tasting fish could only be found in the coastal waters of Sarawak, stretching from Sematan to La­­was.

“The breeding grounds are at the estuary of Batang Lupar, Sri Aman, and Batang Lassa, Mukah, with two breeding seasons per year,” he said.

Lai said the big-mouthed shad could easily be distinguished from other species such as the sea water tenualosa macrura, which is small-mouthed, has smooth scales, an elongated body and a long tail. — Bernama

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