Ichthyological Research

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 333-349

First online:

Review of spino-occipital and spinal nerves in Tetraodontiformes, with special reference to pectoral and pelvic fin muscle innervation

  • Masanori NakaeAffiliated withCollection Center, National Museum of Nature and Science Email author 
  • , Kunio SasakiAffiliated withLaboratory of Marine Biology, Faculty of Science, Kochi University

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The spino-occipital nerve (SO) and ventral rami of the spinal nerves (SV) in 10 tetraodontiform families and 5 outgroup taxa were examined, with special reference to pectoral and pelvic fin muscle innervation. Compared with the outgroup taxa, tetraodontiforms were characteristic in having SO3 + SV1 (SO3 in tetraodontids) that gave off several lateral subbranches to the pectoral fin base and SO participation in infracarinalis anterior innervation. SO and SV1 were connected with one another (6 patterns) before entering the pectoral fin muscles in most species, including the outgroup taxa, resulting in the participation of SV1 in the innervation of almost all of the pectoral fin muscles. SO3 + SV1 was present in all tetraodontiforms (except in 2 tetraodontids having only SO3) and the outgroup taxa, an upper dorsal branch uniformly extending dorsally into the pectoral fin base. The pectoral fin base also received a branch ventrally, but its identity differed (participation or nonparticipation of SV2). SV1 alone constituting the branch was a derived condition occurring in Aracanidae, Ostraciidae, Tetraodontidae, Diodontidae, and Molidae. No strong characters supporting a tetraodontiform sister group were recognized among the spino-occipital nerve and ventral rami of spinal nerves.

Key words

Tetraodontiformes Spino-occipital nerve Spinal nerves Muscle innervation