Ultramicroscopy of structures involved in the posterior region of scales in two flathead fishes (Teleostei: Perciformes)

Azad Teimori, Mina Motamedi, Vahid Amiri, Majid Askari Hesni


Morphology of structures involved in the posterior region of scales in two flathead fish species viz. Platycephalus indicus and Grammoplites suppositus was studied using ultramicroscopy. The fish individuals were divided into three size groups based on their standard lengths and their scales were removed from four body regions. The microscopic observations indicated that the scales of both species were ctenoid. The posterior margin of all scales was formed by two rows of ctenii. Typically, the shape of the posterior region of scales in P. indicus was crescent, while it was triangular in G. suppositus. The number of ctenii in the scales of P. indicus was minimum 12 and maximum 60, while in G. suppositus it was minimum 6 and maximum 38. Moreover, the results indicated that the number of ctenii was increased during fish development because the smaller fishes have fewer ctenii in their scales than the adults, while, their general morphology has not been changed properly. This developmental change was significantly higher in P. indicus than G. suppositus. The increase of ctenii during fish development allows greater flexibility in movement. In conclusion, modification in the ornamentations of the posterior region has a hydrodynamic function and they are subject to modification during the fish development. The ctenii varying considerably in the number and could be easily counted, therefore, could be used as an appropriate taxonomic character at least in flathead fishes or even other fish groups.


SEM, Development, Scale, Ctenii, Persian Gulf.

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