Scientia Marina, Vol 64, No 4 (2000)

The description of Austroglossus pectoralis (Teleostei: Soleidae) larvae from the South-east coast of South Africa

Aidan D. Wood
Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, South Africa


Preflexion and flexion larval stages of the East coast sole Austroglossus pectoralis are described. Larval morphology was consistent with that of other soleids. The yolk-sac was evident in larvae up to 2.9 mm BL. Flexion is evident in some 3.5 mm BL larvae and in all larvae > 3.8 mm BL. Larvae have 50 to 58 (8-10 + 40-49) myomeres and a large protruding gut. The head profile is rounded initially and becomes convex after flexion. Teeth are present at 4.0 mm BL and are initially robust, becoming elongate and incisor-shaped after flexion. Pectoral fins are present but no rays have developed in the largest specimen. The sequence of fin anlagen development is caudal, dorsal and anal. Eye migration is not evident in the largest (8.8 mm BL) specimen examined. Pigment is evident over the fore- and mid-brain, snout and lower jaw, and along the ventral and dorsal midline of the trunk and tail. The ventral and lateral walls of the gut also bear melanophores. The larvae of A. pectoralis are compared with previously described soleid species which are found in southern African waters, including its congeneric A. microlepis.


Soleidae; Austroglossus pectoralis; larval development and description; morphology; morphometrics; pigment

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Copyright (c) 2000 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

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