Metamorphosis of the visual and barbel sensory systems at settlement in the reef fish Upeneus tragula (Family Mullidae)

McCormick, Mark, and Shand, Julia (1992) Metamorphosis of the visual and barbel sensory systems at settlement in the reef fish Upeneus tragula (Family Mullidae). In: Proceedings of the 7th International Coral Reef Symposium (1) pp. 616-623. From: 7th International Coral Reef Symposium, 22-27 June 1992, The University of Guam, Mangilao, GU.

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Settlement for a reef fish involves a major change in sensory stimuli as the fish undergoes metamorphosis and moves from planktonic to demersal existence. This study examines the nature of structural changes in the sensory system at settlement for the goatfish Upeneus tragula (Family Mullidae). Pelagic-stage fish were collected using purse-seines around aggregation rafts or in light traps off Lizard Island, on the Northern Great Barrier Reef, during the summers of 1989/90 and 1990/91. Settled fish were caught from the reef using fence-nets. Changes in the visual system and out-growths of the olfactory and gustatory system (barbels) were examined in detail, using various morphometric and histological techniques. Major changes were found to occur in both systems. An unusual double-layer of cone photoreceptors and high densities of bipolar (neural processing) cells were found in the dorsal retina during the pelagic stages; this double-cone layer was lost, and both the cone and bipolar cell densities reduced during the 6-12 h settlement period. This may represent an overall reduction in relative visual acuity. Sensory barbels, which aid in the detection and manipulation of prey items once settled, underwent rapid growth at settlement, largely due to the expansion of taste bud cells. These changes to the sensory system are likely to be linked to the changes in environmental stimuli which occur during settlement.

Item ID: 24502
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 1-881629-03-1
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2013 06:27
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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