Growth in volume of common dentex Dentex dentex and turbot Psetta maxima during larval development was studied by means of a quantitative histological method. A two-phase pattern of volume increase was recorded for both species, turbot volume being always higher than dentex volume. During the first phase, the increase was small but during the second phase volume rose sharply from 22 days post hatch (dph) and 17 dph onwards in dentex and turbot, respectively. In dentex, the specific growth rate (G) of the whole larva as well as that of all the structures studied (nervous tissue, trunk musculature, digestive tract, liver, pancreas, spleen and thymus) was always higher during the second phase, whereas in turbot, only total volume of the larva, trunk musculature and nervous tissue had a higher G during the same period. The pattern of allometric growth of digestive organs was similar for both species. These organs showed an initial positive allometric growth that later became near-isometric (digestive tract and liver) or negative (pancreas). In dentex, nervous tissue and trunk musculature showed near-isometry throughout the period studied. In turbot, nervous tissue exhibited negative allometry and trunk musculature changed from negative to positive allometry. In both species studied, the highest allometry coefficients were recorded for digestive organs before the larva switched to strict exotrophy. This would indicate the importance of the development of these organs for survival. © 2005 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.
- Common dentex
- Fish larvae