Free Content Metamorphosis of the Pacific Tarpon, Megalops Cyprinoides (Elopiformes, Megalopidae) with Remarks on Development Patterns in the Elopomorpha

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The metamorphic style of Pacific tarpon, Megalops cyprinoides, based on morphological observations, is described and the relationships of Elopomorpha are discussed. Generally, it is known that metamorphosis of leptocephali and body shrinkage are simultaneous, culminating in greatest shrinkage in the adult-like body. However, the most shrunken Pacific tarpon remains as a whitebait form, like clupeiform larvae, and its main organismal developments (e.g., ossification, attainment of juvenile body proportion and pigmentation) are concentrated after the most shrunken stage. The metamorphic process of Pacific tarpon is divided into two aspects: 1) changes from leptocephalus to whitebait larva; and 2) substantial development as whitebait larvae. This metamorphic style of Pacific tarpon seems to be primitive among those of Elopomorpha.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1997

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