Ichthyological Research

, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 49–58 | Cite as

Innervation of the lateral line system in Rhyacichthys aspro: the origin of superficial neuromast rows in gobioids (Perciformes: Rhyacichthyidae)

  • Ryu AsaokaEmail author
  • Masanori Nakae
  • Kunio Sasaki
Full Paper


The lateral line system and its innervation were examined in the most primitive gobioid taxon, Rhyacichthys aspro (Rhyacichthyidae). The infraorbital canal was present, whereas superficial neuromast rows a and c, typically present on the cheek of gobioids, were absent. Because the infraorbital canal (absent in other gobioids) and the two rows were commonly innervated by the buccal ramus, the latter were categorized as replaced rows from canal neuromasts. On an innervation basis, rows b and d on the cheek were considered to comprise superficial neuromasts only in all gobioids. The trunk lateral line system comprised canal and superficial neuromasts, the former being included in the lateral line scales (each bearing 1–7 neuromasts arranged longitudinally along the direction of a groove). Absence of bony roofs in the lateral line system was proposed as a synapomorphy of Gobioidei, and a progressive neotenic shift in the lateral line system of the suborder discussed.


Canal neuromast Lateral line nerve Homology Neoteny 



We are very grateful to K.-T. Shao, L.-P. Lin, Y.-C. Liao (Laboratory of Fish Ecology and Evolution, Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica), M.-Y. Lee (Department of Aquaculture, National Taiwan Ocean University), and D. Shioguri and his colleagues (KATSUAYU & CO.) for providing us with the Taiwanese material of Rhyacichthys aspro. T. Yamakawa (Kochi, Japan) provided an opportunity for us to examine the NSMT-P specimen of the species. G. Hardy (Ngunguru, New Zealand) read the manuscript and offered helpful comments. This study was partly supported by a Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Fellows (no. 257617) to the first author.


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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Marine Biology, Faculty of ScienceKochi UniversityKochiJapan
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyNational Museum of Nature and ScienceTsukubaJapan

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