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Free Content Development of Scombrolabrax Heterolepis (Pisces, Scombrolabracidae) and Comments on Familial Relationships

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Scombrolabrax heterolepis larvae were caught with plankton nets in the upper 200 m of the oceans from about 30°S to 30°N during all months with a peak catch in the seasonal winter months. Surface temperatures at capture stations ranged from 25.9° to 28.6°C. Development of 132 larvae (2.4 NL–14.7 mm SL) and three juveniles (22.5, 68.1, 69.5 mm SL) of S. heterolepis from the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans is described. In small larvae, 2.6–5.0 mm SL, pigmentation resembled that of Thunnus. Larvae longer than 5.0 mm SL acquired distinct pigmentation on the jaws, brain, pectoral symphysis, gular membrane, dorsal body and lateral tail. Meristics are: 13 + 17 = 30 vertebrae; D XII, 15–16; A III, 16–17; P1 18–19; P2 1,5; C 8–9 + 9 + 8 + 9–10; 7 branchiostegal rays; first arch outer gill rakers 5–6 + 3; first closed haemal arch on 12th centrum; 9 pairs of dorsal, 11 pairs of pleural ribs. No predorsal bones were present. The proximal and distal radials of the median fin pterygiophores developed from one piece of cartilage. Middle radials and a stay were present in addition to the proximal and distal radials for five posteriormost dorsal and anal pterygiophores. The early pectoral fin supports were a bony cleithrum and a coraco-scapular cartilage. Later, four cartilaginous radials developed, and the scapula and coracoid ossified within the coraco-scapular cartilage. The basipterygium originated from rod-shaped cartilage that developed bony wings after ossification. Supporting elements of the caudal skeleton were those of a basal perciform: 3 centra (2 preural and 1 urostyle), 2 autogenous haemal spines, 1 parhypural, 5 hypurals, 3 epurals, 2 pairs of uroneurals, 1 specialized neural arch and 1 neural spine. No ontogenetic fusion of these elements occurred. Neural and haemal arches and spines were present first in cartilage. Their ossification occurred concurrently with segmentation and ossification of the notochord. Relationship of S. heterolepis to scombrids, gempylids and trichiurids is discussed, and it is suggested that S. heterolepis is a scombroid fish belonging to a separate family Scombrolabracidae.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1980-04-01

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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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