, Volume 25, Issue 4, p 645
Date: 16 Aug 2006

A special palate structure of Ctenochaetus striatus—a hidden tool for bioerosion

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The genus Ctenochaetus (Acanthuridae, surgeonfish) is present on most reefs in the Indo-Pacific, sometimes in large abundance. A particular characteristic of this genus is the bristle teeth (Randall 1955; Purcell and Bellwood 1993). During aquarium experiments a second dentiform structure was detected. As the fish swam with slightly opened mouths, a compact structure pointing downwards, appeared behind the folded upwards bristle teeth of the upper jaw. In specimens of various sizes caught in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea in April 2004, a knobby stripe was detected next to the bristle teeth (Fig. 1a). This structure exists only on the palate. It runs curvewise with a distance of ∼1 mm parallel to the row of bristle teeth. The bulk of the structure increases up to the vertex of the curve (max. height ∼0.7 mm). The width of the stripe is approximately 1 mm. It can be seen in the sagittal section (Fig. 1b) that this knobby stripe extends over the edge of the premaxilla, in which the flexible ...