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Structure and composition of teleost scales from snakehead Channa argus (Cantor) (Perciformes: Channidae)

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The structure of teleost scales from snakehead Channa argus was investigated using thermogravimetric analysis (TG), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy-dispersive analysis of X-rays (EDAX), Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Thermal treatment of fish scales indicates that the fibrillary plate is partially calcified. SEM shows two kinds of scale denticles, arranged along the circuli in the anterior field and the lateral fields, respectively. TEM indicates the stratum laxum with abundant fibrils, chromatophores and capillary blood vessels within the scale covering, and shows the fibrillary plate as an ‘orthogonal plywood structure’ of stratified lamellae, consisting of 80–100 nm diameter collagen fibres co-aligned in individual lamellae and alternated by c. 90° of the fibre alignment between adjacent lamellae. EDAX, FTIR and XRD show that the mineral phase of the scales is a carbonated hydroxyapatite with a Ca:P molar ratio of 1·85.
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Keywords: Channa argus; fish scale; snakehead; structure

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: The Key Laboratory of Leather Chemistry and Engineering of Ministry of Education, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China 2: College of Chemistry and Life Science, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004, China

Publication date: 01 March 2008

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