Alternate Title

Larval and Early Juvenile Development of the Frillfin Goby, Bathygobius soporator (Perciformes: Gobiidae)


Larval and early juvenile development of laboratory-reared frillfin gobies, Bathygobius soporator (Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1837), is described and figured. One-day-old preserved specimens averaged 2.0 mm SL, had 11-12 preanal myomeres, and 25-26 total myomeres. Caudal fin rays appeared at 3.1 mm SL (10 days), followed by soft dorsal and anal fin rays at 3.4 mm SL (11 days). Dominant larval pigmentation consisted of dense rows of stellate melanophores along the dorsal and anal midlines and later along the lateral midline. The change to juvenile pigmentation and a benthic habit occurred at 4.7-5.4 mm SL (26-31 days). Early juvenile growth was characterized by migration of the eyes to the adult position, rounding of the caudal fin margin, beginning of scale formation, and separation of the upper pectoral fin rays.

Sequence of ossification is described and figured. In one-day-old larvae (2.0 mm SL), only the maxillae and cleithra had started to ossify. Many bones, including the ethmoids, small gill arch elements, nasals, and ribs were not ossified at settling (4.7-5.3 mm SL). With the exception of the adult complement of ribs, all bones were ossified in the largest juvenile (17.6 mm SL, 97 days).