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Development of the nasal olfactory organs in the larvae, settlement-stages and some adults of 14 species of Caribbean reef fishes (Labridae, Scaridae, Pomacentridae)
Lara, M.R. (2008). Development of the nasal olfactory organs in the larvae, settlement-stages and some adults of 14 species of Caribbean reef fishes (Labridae, Scaridae, Pomacentridae). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 154(1): 51-64. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-007-0899-2
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Marine

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  • Lara, M.R.

Abstract
    Larval fishes likely use a variety of settlement cues to locate and navigate toward the habitats they will inhabit as juveniles. Information about the morphology and state of development of the sensory organs of larval stages of fishes provides insight into their capabilities at the time of settlement. The peripheral olfactory organ of wild-caught late-stage larvae and early juveniles and some adults of 14 species of the Caribbean reef fishes wrasses (Labridae), parrot fishes (Scaridae) and damselfish (Pomacentridae) were examined using scanning electron microscopy and compared in terms of settlement specificity. Ages in days after hatching and days post-settlement were determined from the otoliths. Morphology of the nares and the olfactory epithelium are described for these species by stage. The separation of the anterior and posterior nares occurred before settlement in the labrids but in some specimens of scarids this separation was not complete by the time of settlement. Densities of ciliated and microvillous receptor cells and non-sensory ciliated epithelial cells were calculated. Densities of ciliated receptor cells ranged from 0.389 µm-2 in a specimen of Thallasoma bifasciatum to 0.0057 µm-2 in Bodianus rufus and of microvillous receptor cells from 0.038 µm-2 in a Clepticus parrae juvenile to 0.266 µm-2 in a juvenile Doratonotus megalepis. Densities of non-sensory cilia, also associated with high olfactory ability, were also high. The olfactory organ in wrasses is well developed prior to settlement and is comparable to that of adult fishes. The possible role of olfaction in larval schooling, reef cue detection and orientation toward habitat at settlement is discussed.

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