Skip to main content

Development of the vertebral column and caudal complex in a flyingfish,Parexocoetus mento mento (Teleostei: Exocoetidae)


The developmental pattern of the vertebral column and caudal complex in juvenile (16.9 mm SL) to adult (112.2 mm SL)Parexocoetus mento mento is described Juvenile external caudal morphology was similar to the adult condition, although juveniles exhibited various internal ontogenetic changes. Osteological develoment was almost completed at 60–69 mm SL. Complete ossification of the vertebral column and caudal complex appeared to be the optimal condition giving strength for flight. Loss of perforations in the centra, neural and haemal arches may be consistent with the rigid and straightened body position during take-off. Some ontogenetic changes in the caudal complex were related to functional aspects. Ankylosis of the NPU2 spur to the uroneural notch, fusion of hypurals 3+4 and 5 and the elongated hypural 1+2 (lower hypural) were linked to the acquisition of stability and strength in the caudal complex.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Literature Cited

  • Cheverud, J. M. 1989. A comparative analysis of morphological variation patterns in the Papionins. Evolution, 43: 1737–1747.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Collette, B. B., G. E. McGowen, N. V. Parin and S. Mito. 1984. Beloniformes: development and relationships. Pages 335–354in H. G. Moser, W. J. Richards, D. M. Cohen, M. P. Fahay, A. W. Kendal, Jr. and S. L. Richardson, eds. Ontogeny and systematics of fishes. Am. Soc. Ichthyol. Herpetol. Spec. Publ. 1.

  • Dasilao, J. C., K. Sasaki and O. Okamura. 1997. The hemiramphid,Oxyporhamphus, is a flyingfish (Exocoetidae). ichthyol. Res., 44: 101–107.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dingerkus, G. and L. D. Uhler. 1977. Enzyme clearing of alcian blue stained whole small vertebrates for demonstration of cartilage. Stain Technol., 52: 229–232.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Fujita, K. 1990. The caudal skeleton of teleostean fishes. Tokai univ. Press, Tokyo, xiii+897 pp. (In Japanese with English summary.)

    Google Scholar 

  • Fujita, K. 1992. Caudal skeleton ontogeny in the adrianichthyid fish,Oryzias latipes. Japan. J. Ichthyol., 39: 107–109.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fujita, K. and Y. Oozeki. 1994. Development of the caudal skeleton in the saury,Cololabis saira. Japan J. Ichthyol., 41: 334–337.

    Google Scholar 

  • Harder, W. 1975. Anatomy of fishes. Hans Richarz, Publikations-Service, Germany, xii+612 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hubbs, C. L. and E. M. Kampa. 1946. the early stages (egg, prelarva and juvenile) and classification of the California flying fishes. Copeia, 1946: 188–218.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Imai, S. 1955. On the life history ofCypselurus naresii Günther obtained in Japan. Mem. Fac. Fish. Kagoshima Univ., 4: 97–104. (In Japanese with English synopsis.)

    Google Scholar 

  • Imai, S. 1959. Studies on the life histories of the flying-fishes found in the adjacent waters of Japan—I. Mem. Fac. Fish. Kagoshima Univ., 7: 1–85. (In Japanese.)

    Google Scholar 

  • Parin, N. V. 1960. The flying fishes (Exocoetidae) of the Northwest Pacific. Trudi. Inst. Okean., 31: 205–285.

    Google Scholar 

  • Parin, N. V. 1961. the basis for the classification of the flying-fishes (Families Oxyporhamphidae and Exocoetidae). Inst. Okeanol. Akad. Nauk SSSR 43: 92–183.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rosen, D. E. 1964. The relationships and taxonomic position of halfbeaks, killifishes, silversides and their relatives. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 127: 217–286.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tsukahara, H. and T. Shiokawa. 1957. Studies on the flying-fishes of the Amakusa Islands. Part 2. The life history and habits ofParexocoetus mento (Cuvier et Valenciemes). Sci. Bull. Fac. Agriculture, Kyushu Univ., 16: 275–286. (In Japanese with English résumé.)

    Google Scholar 

  • Weitzman, S. H. 1962. The osteology ofBrycon meeki, a generalized characid fish, with an osteological definition of the family. Stanford Ichthyol. Bull., 8: 1–77.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


About this article

Cite this article

Dasilao, J.C., Yamaoka, K. Development of the vertebral column and caudal complex in a flyingfish,Parexocoetus mento mento (Teleostei: Exocoetidae). Ichthyological Research 45, 303–308 (1998).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words

  • Parexocoetus
  • vertebral column
  • caudal complex
  • development