Zeitschrift für Zellforschung und Mikroskopische Anatomie

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 195-200

Non-nucleated erythrocytes in a teleostean fish Maurolicus Mülleri (Gmelin)

  • Karl Georg WingstrandAffiliated withInstitute for Comparative Anatomy and Zoological Technique, University of Copenhagen

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The paper deals with the erythrocytes of the teleostean fish, Maurolicus mülleri (Gmelin). Three remarkable features in their morphology are pointed out:
  1. 1.

    They have no nuclei. Whether nucleated erythrocytes exist in the blood could not be stated with certainty. Nucleated cells make up less than 1 % of the blood corpuscles and do not show the staining properties of mature erythrocytes.

  2. 2.

    They are exceptionally small, 4–6 × 2–3 μ. So small erythrocytes are found only in a few mammals.

  3. 3.

    They do not seem to be flattened. It is suggested that this is correlated with their small size.


It is pointed out, that prevalence of non-nucleated erythrocytes in the blood must be very rare in teleostean fishes, since a great number of species have been investigated and were found to have nucleated erythrocytes. The only example of a non-mammalian vertebrate with predominantly non-nucleated erythrocytes in the blood was previously the urodelan genus Batrachoseps. In some respects the blood of Maurolicus is more mammal-like than that of Batrachoseps.