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The Development of a Mouth-Opening Mechanism in a Generalized Haplochromis Species: H. Elegans Trewavas 1933 (Pisces, Cichlidae)

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

A system of staging has been devised, resolving the buccal development of the mouth-brooding cichlid fish Haplochromis elegans1 into 13 stages, with intervals increasing with age. A high resolution is required only when the rate of shape-change is high in younger animals. A reconstruction technique has been formulated producing rotated views of plastic embedded specimens. Of buccal development, stages 5 and 6 proved to be of special interest because of an important kinematical transition. This transition is relatively fast and demonstrates a synchrony in the development of elements constituting a mouth-opening mechanism. The effects of this transition on movement-patterns during respiration have been understood in the light of changes in the proportions of the head.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Morphology, Zoological Laboratory, University of Leiden, The Netherlands


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