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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


HERNANDEZ, David Roque et al. Ontogenic Development of the Vertebral Column and Caudal Skeleton in Rhamdia quelen Larvae in Larviculture Intensive System. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2012, vol.30, n.4, pp.1520-1525. ISSN 0717-9502.

The osteological development of vertebral column and caudal skeleton in Rhamdia quelen larvae under controlled conditions and artificial feeding is analyzed. Between 1 to 20 day post hatching (dph) four hundred larvae were sampled at regular intervals, and subsequently colored and transparent following the Taylor & Van Dyke technique. In the first days of life, larvae have a straight notochord throughout its length. The beginning of the vertebral column formation was observed at 7 dph with the emergence of neural and haemal spines arches, and between 9 and 10 dph for the first three vertebrae. The ossification of the vertebral column occurred in cranial-caudal direction and was complete at 20 dph. The caudal skeleton begins to develop between 3 and 4 dph, with the formation of the hypurals (H), parahipural (PH) and caudal fin rays. The H 1 to 4 were formed as cartilaginous primordia on the ventral surface of the distal portion of the notochord, and then later the H 5 and PH in distal and proximal extreme of the caudal skeleton, respectively. Central ural complex (CUC) was ossified in two parts, one anterior that is a combination of central preural 1 and ural 1 and other posterior with the ural 2. The first caudal fin rays appear in flexion larvae, while after 13 dph, all specimens had ossified principal rays (eight rays in both upper and lower lobes). The development of the vertebral column and caudal skeleton shows similar patterns to those described in other teleost fish although with some peculiarities that differentiate it from related groups.

Keywords : Rhamdia quelen; Larviculture; Osteological development.

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