Ultrastructure aspects of Brycon gouldingi (Teleostei, Characidae) related to swimming ability and feeding during larval development
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The larval ultrastructure of Brycon gouldingi related to swimming and feeding from hatching to total yolk absorption is described from scanning electron micrographs. Newly hatched larvae (time zero) had no mouth opening, undefined optic vesicles, an olfactory plate visible as a shallow depression, rudimentary gill arches, neural groove, embryonic fin and a primary neuromast in the dorsal region of the head. At the time of yolk absorption, 55 h post hatching, the larvae presented an optic vesicle comprising an optic cup and crystalline lens; a mouth with tongue, tapered teeth and taste buds; a ciliated olfactory cavity; branched gill arches; filled neural groove signalling central nervous system development; caudal, pectoral, dorsal and anal fins; and neuromasts distributed throughout the head and body. These characters are related to prey capture and swimming ability, key aspects of survival during the larval stage. The results of this study provide important information for exploitation and aquaculture of B. gouldingi.