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Embryonic and Larval Development of Sacramento Splittail Pogonichthys macrolepidotus


Embryonic and larval development of Sacramento splittail (Pogonichthys macrolepidotus) was characterized from zygote to metamorphosis in laboratory conditions. Fertilized eggs were obtained from induced and natural tank spawning of adults caught in the Yolo Bypass of the Sacramento River. Splittail produced transparent adhesive eggs with a moderate perivitelline space. Duration of embryonic development from fertilization to hatching was 100 h at 18 ± 0.5 °C. Newly hatched larvae were 5.2 to 6.0 mm total length with no mouth opening. Yolk-sac larvae were demersal and absorbed the yolk within 10 days post-hatch. Exogenous feeding started at 6 days post-hatch, concomitant with swim bladder inflation and swim-up movement. Fin differentiation began at approximately 10 d post-hatch (ca. 8.3 to 8.85 mm total length) and was completed at 50 d post-hatch (ca. 19.6 to 20.85 mm total length) when larval finfold was fully resorbed and the adult complement of fin rays was present in all fins, but scales were still lacking.


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