Larval Fishes from Carrie Bow Cay, Belize - National Museum of Natural History - Division of FishesLarval Fishes Home

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Larval Fish: Family Pomacentridae

Several species of damselfishes (Pomacentridae) are found around Carrie Bow Cay, representing four genera. The larvae have a substantial amount of red pigment on the lateral body surface and on the pectoral-fin rays. The larvae most likely represent species of Stegastes. Two species are identified here.

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Pomacentridae, USNM 353953

Stegastes leucostictus, 12 mm SL, USNM 353953. This specimen has a spot developing at the posterior base of the spinous dorsal fin but not on the caudal peduncle. Two local species have this combination of characters, Stegastes leucostictus and S. diencaeus. The present larva is more likely to be S. leucostictus. The dorsal spot in diencaeus is more anterior, beginning on the eighth dorsal spine. In addition, S. diencaeus has internal dotted lines of melanophores midlaterally and middorsally, which the present specimen does not. Finally, S. leucostictus is much more common around Carrie Bow Cay and is therefore more likely to be represented as larvae


Pomacentridae, USNM 354572

Stegastes leucostictus, reared, 14 mm SL, USNM 354572. Stegastes diencaeus also has a spot at the base of the dorsal fin but not on the caudal peduncle. In diencaus, however, the spot lacks the pale ring and is more anterior (beginning at the eighth dorsal spine).


Pomacentridae, USNM 352909

Stegastes partitus, 12 mm SL, USNM 352909. Stegastes partitus is the only local damselfish that lacks both a dorsal spot and a caudal-peduncle spot. We assume that if the spots were present, they would have begun to develop at this size.


Pomacentridae, USNM 354563

Stegastes partitus, reared, 14 mm SL, USNM 354563.


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