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Embryology and early ontogeny of an anemonefish Amphiprion ocellaris

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 July 2007

Inayah Yasir
Affiliation:
School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, 5001 SA Adelaide, Australia Department of Marine Sciences, Hasanuddin University, Makassar 90245, Indonesia
Jian G. Qin
Affiliation:
School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, 5001 SA Adelaide, Australia

Abstract

The present study describes the embryonic development and early ontogeny of Amphiprion ocellaris from fertilization to post hatching. Anemonefish spontaneously spawned at 27–28°C. The newly laid eggs were orange in colour and elliptical in shape (1.8×0.8 mm). Melanin appeared as a black mass situated at the vegetal pole in mature eggs. This is rarely seen in eggs of other fish species. We documented developmental times at 27–28°C to egg activation (0.5 h), cleavage (4 h), blastula (11.5 h), gastrula (20 h), neurula (24.5 h), somite (28.5 h), turnover (72 h), blood formation (113 h) and internal ear and jaw formation (144 h). Hatching occurred 152 h after fertilization. On day 4, the eye buds were pigmented and melanophores formed on the ventral surface of the embryo. Internal ear and gill formation were completed on day 5 and coincided with movement of the opercula and pectoral fins. The mouth formed on day 6 and the digestive tract appeared on day 7. By day 10, the yolk was fully absorbed and a substantial amount of food was observed in the gut. Dark and orange pigments were dispersed and aggregated through muscle contractions by day 14, but red pigments did not appear until the fish were three months old. This study contributes to a further understanding of the embryology and the early ontogeny of damselfish and may help improve the culture of coral reef fish.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2007 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

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