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Free Content The Reproductive Biology of Ogilbia cayorum, a Viviparous Brotulid Fish

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The reproductive biology of Ogilbia cayorum Evermann and Kendall was studied in order to construct a basis for comparative studies of the reproduction and systematics of brotulid fishes. To insure that the fish studied belong to a single species, they were limited to specimens collected in the marine waters of Florida in depths of less than 3 m. The substrate of the collecting areas was characterized by oolitic or coralline rubble, often algae-covered.

Males averaged 33.3 mm standard length; females 36.6 mm. Newborn young are 12.3-15.0 mm; the fish may be externally sexed at 20.0 mm; and both sexes are mature by 30.0 mm. The anatomy and histology of the testes are described. Spermatophores are encapsulated within the testes. Unidentified cells resembling lymphocytes and measuring 3 microns in diameter may produce the capsules. There are no permanent spermatophore reservoirs; the testes collapse and undergo reorganization after voiding spermatophores. The copulatory apparatus of the male includes a median penis resting on a pedestal and surrounded by two pairs of pseudoclaspers, all apparently derived from the first anal-fin ray and its associated pterygiophores and muscles. The apparatus is encased in a urogenital sheath derived from the circular muscles of the intestine, and is protected externally by a fleshy hood apparently derived from both the intestine and the anal-fin base.

The anatomy and histology of the ovary and copulatory apparatus of the female are described. Embryos in the ovary are supplied with yolk, but may possibly obtain additional nutrients from the ovigerous tissue. Early embryos are encouched in fluid-filled folds of ovigerous tissue. Some late embryos have bulbs of ovigerous tissue in their mouths. The female's copulatory apparatus may have the same origin as that of the male, but it lacks calcified structures. It is also encased in a urogenital sheath and protected externally by a ridge of dermal tissue which encircles the anus, genital pore, and urinary papilla. Two lobes appear in the dermal ridge of ripe females; they probably serve as copulatory guides.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1975-04-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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