n African Zoology - Enigmatic tissue in the orobranchial chamber of cardinalfishes of the genus (Perciformes, Apogonidae)

Volume 51 Number 3
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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An unusual tissue covering the tongue and occasionally part of the gill chamber of many species of the Indo-Pacific cardinalfish genus is described and compared with an earlier description of a similar tissue found in the cichlid species inhabiting lakes of the African Rift Valley. Species of both genera are mouth brooders. The tissue is globular and its cells are oblong, whereas the tissue is single-layered, with larger, columnar cells. The tissues of both have the characteristics of a mucosa and show evidence of active synthesis. While ion regulation has been proposed for the tissue, the function of the tissue is unknown, but a role in feeding, or antibiotic or appetite-suppressing functions have been suggested.

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