Free Content Larvae of Diploprion Bifasciatum, Belonoperca Chabanaudi and Grammistes Sexlineatus (Serranidae: Epinephelinae) with a Comparison Of Known Larvae of other Epinephelines

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Morphology is described for larvae of two species of the epinepheline serranid tribe Diploprionini and one of the tribe Grammistini, and known larvae of other epinephelines are compared. Early stage eggs and development of larvae of Diploprion bifasciatum are described from 144 laboratory-reared specimens, and postflexion larvae of Belonoperca chabanaudi are described from wild-caught specimens. Fourmanoir's (1976) description of postlarval Grammistes sexlineatus is modified and expanded. The second and third dorsal-fin spines of larval D. bifasciatum are remarkably elongate, reaching lengths many times that of the body. These spines are thin and flexible, and each is encased in a sheath of tissue that exhibits patterns of pigment that change ontogenetically. Larvae of Belonoperca have several elongate dorsal-fin spines that may attain lengths comparable to those of the second and third dorsal spines of D. bifasciatum; however, only net-collected specimens in which the spines are broken are available. With these descriptions of larval diploprionins, larvae of representatives of all epinepheline tribes are known. Larval epinephelines differ in patterns of pigmentation, head spination, sequence of fin formation and morphology of elongate dorsal spines. The considerable morphological diversity among epinepheline larvae may aid in elucidating the phylogeny of the subfamily.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1991

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