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Free Content Larval Development of Engyophrys Senta (Bothidae), with Comments on Intermuscular Bones in Flatfishes

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Development of Engyophrys senta is described from larvae collected in the Gulf of Mexico. Larvae are characterized by a deep, highly compressed body; an elongate second dorsal ray in small larvae; four (three in small larvae) spines in the otic region; and spinous serrations on the cleithra, urohyal, and basipterygia. As metamorphosis is approached, optic papillae develop, spines (otic, urohyal, basipterygial, and cleithral) become reduced in size, and larval teeth are lost, replacement teeth forming on the right dentary and premaxillary. Metamorphosis apparently occurs at about 20 mm SL.

Five series of intermuscular bones are present in juvenile and adult E. senta. Four of these series are composed of highly branched (brush-like) bones. There are reasons for interpreting the presence of these bones as a derived character. Some authors have shown, on the basis of presence or absence of intermuscular bones, that there are two groups of species within the Bothidae; these two groups generally agree with the Bothinae (bones present) and Paralichthyinae (bones absent) of the most widely accepted classification. This is true among the western North Atlantic species except in regard to Engyophrys, Trichopsetta, and Monolene, which have intermuscular bones and have been placed in the Paralichthyinae by previous workers. Other adult and larval characters also support the possibility that these three genera are more closely related to the Bothinae than the Paralichthyinae. These observations suggest that the subfamilial groupings within the Bothidae should be reexamined and subjected to a more rigorous analysis than previous workers have given them.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1977-10-01

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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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