Larval development of Argentine hake Merluccius hubbsi

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Abstract:

The ontogeny of the developmental stages of the hake Merluccius hubbsi is described. Fish larvae and post-transitional juveniles were collected in the Nor-Patagonian area from 1989 to 2004. The opening of the mouth and the pigmentation of the eyes are coincident with yolk resorption, finishing the yolk-sac stage. This species presents pigmentation on the head, trunk and tail typical of gadiform larvae. Pectoral fin development is completed during the transformation stage. The post-transitional juvenile stage begins when the fin-ray complements are complete and squamation begins. The fins become fully formed in the following sequence: pelvic fins, first dorsal fin, second dorsal and anal fins together, caudal fin and pectoral fins. The caudal complex is totally developed in larvae of 22·0–23·0 mm standard lengths (LS) and all vertebral elements are first observed in larvae of 8·5 mm LS. The rate of development of M. hubbsi observed in this study could be faster than the rates reported for other species of Merluccius by different authors.

Keywords: Merluccius; meristics; morphometrics

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2008.02136.x

Affiliations: Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP), P. O. Box 175, (B7602HSA), Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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