Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 101, Issue 2, pp 287–299 | Cite as

Study of the chorion of seasonal and non-seasonal Africa and Neotropical oviparous Cyprinodontiforme fishes

  • Nadia Messaddeq
  • Josiane Hergueux
  • Jean-Luc Weickert
  • Raymond RomandEmail author


The structure of the chorion from the fertilized eggs of eight species of killifish, four Nothobranchiidae from tropical Africa and four Rivulidae species from South America and an Asian Cyprinidae (zebrafish), were investigated for possible structural similarities by transmission and scanning electron microscopy. The study of the possible chorion variations between seasonal fishes inhabiting temporary pools of tropical regions and other, non-seasonal species revealed variations in the several types of complex adornments found on the external chorion surface when compared with the less complex chorion of the zebrafish. The inner structure of the chorion of these killifish species comprises alternating electron dense and clear strata, with the number of strata varying by species as well as the thickness of the chorion. No obvious phylogenetic or ecological relationships were observed either between the chorion adornments and the inner organization of the chorion or between the seasonal and non-seasonal species. It is advised to perform studies with a larger sample of species that could show a relation either from ecological or phylogenetic parameters.


Ecology Egg external envelope Killifish South America and Africa Ultrastructure Zebrafish 



We thank H. Salvia (Uruguay), D. Pillet and S. Roth (France) for providing material for this study and A. Persson (Sweden) F. Vermeulen (Aruba) for their pictures.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IGBMCINSERM U964IllkirchFrance
  2. 2.Faculté de MédecineICube-CNRS UMR7357Strasbourg CedexFrance

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