Morphological Development of the Eel Myrophis Punctatus (Ophichthidae) from Hatching to Metamorphosis, with Emphasis on the Developing Head Skeleton
Abstract:Sequential development of the head skeleton is described. The chondrocranium of Myrophis punctatus differs from Anguilla vulgaris and Leptocephalus lanceolatus in having an epiphysial tectum. It differs from Ariosoma balearicum in lacking a median bar from the anterior symphysis of the supraorbital bars to the synotic tectum. Premaxillaries are not present in any stage of development and are thus not part of the premaxillo-ethmo-vomerine complex of adults as previously assumed. A symplectic process, metapterygoid and fifth ceratobranchial are present in the leptocephali. They fuse to adjacent bones during late stages of development. The opercular cartilage ossifies perichondrally, fuses with the blade of the opercle and becomes the articular facet of the opercle. There is no cartilaginous strap connecting the first epibranchial and second infrapharyngobranchial contrary to previous definitions of the family Ophichthidae. The larval teeth are not jaw dentition sensu stricto but are odontodes which form in the mesenchyme just below the epidermis.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 1979
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