Marine Biology

, Volume 111, Issue 1, pp 11–20 | Cite as

Life histories of three species of lanternfishes (Pisces: Myctophidae) from the eastern Gulf of Mexico

I. Morphological and microstructural analysis of sagittal otoliths
  • J. V. GartnerJr.


Morphology and microstructure of the sagittal otoliths from three species of mesopelagic, tropical-subtropical myctophids [Benthosema suborbitale (Gilbert),Diaphus dumerilii (Bleeker)Lepidophanes guentheri (Goode and Bean)], collected from September 1984 to May 1986 in the eastern Gulf of Mexico (27°N, 86°W), were examined and described. Analysis of the microstructure revealed microincrements corresponding to the daily growth rings reported in many studies. Using marginal increment analysis, the deposition of microincrements was verified as occurring daily, the first validation of daily growth rings in the otoliths of mesopelagic fishes. In all three species, the clear central (larval growth) zone of the sagitta was sharply delimited by a dark check accompanied by a series of accessory primordia. A wide, dark, sharply defined postlarval zone (width 100 µm) radiated out from this boundary inB. suborbitale andL. guentheri. While a darkened region was also observed around the larval growth zone inD. dumerilii, it was diffuse and differed in structure from that in the other two species. Within the dark zone in the otoliths ofB. suborbitale andL. guentheri, two different microincremental structures were observed. The narrower of these was determined to be the increment deposited on a daily basis. The structure and formation of the dark region in these three species appear to be related to larval transformation and behaviors of different species of myctophid larvae.


Microstructure Life History Daily Basis Growth Ring Growth Zone 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. V. GartnerJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Marine ScienceUniversity of South FloridaSt. PetersburgUSA

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