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Ontogeny of the electric organ discharge and the electric organ in the weakly electric pulse fish Brachyhypopomus pinnicaudatus (Hypopomidae, Gymnotiformes)



Ontogeny of the electric organ discharge and the electric organ in the weakly electric pulse fish Brachyhypopomus pinnicaudatus (Hypopomidae, Gymnotiformes)



Journal of Comparative Physiology. A, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology 181(2): 111-119



I recorded the electric organ discharges (EODs) of 331 immature Brachyhypopomus pinnicaudatus 6-88 mm long. Larvae produced head-positive pulses 1.3 ms long at 7 mm (6 days) and added a second, small head-negative phase at 12 mm. Both phases shortened duration and increased amplitude during growth. Relative to the whole EOD, the negative phase increased duration until 22 mm and amplitude until 37 mm. Fish above 37 mm produced a "symmetric" EOD like that of adult females. I stained cleared fish with Sudan black, or fluorescently labeled serial sections with anti-desmin (electric organ) or anti-myosin (muscle). From day 6 onward, a single electric organ was found at the ventral margin of the hypaxial muscle. Electrocytes were initially cylindrical, overlapping, and stalk-less, but later shortened along the rostrocaudal axis, separated into rows, and formed caudal stalks. This differentiation started in the posterior electric organ in 12-mm fish and was complete in the anterior region of fish with "symmetric" EODs. The lack of a distinct "larval" electric organ in this pulse-type species weakens the hypothesis that all gymnotiforms develop both a temporary (larval) and a permanent (adult) electric organ.

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Accession: 046866354

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PMID: 9251254

DOI: 10.1007/s003590050098


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