On the osteology and myology of catfish pectoral girdle, with a reflection on catfish (Teleostei: Siluriformes) plesiomorphies

Aug 1, 2001

The configuration of the pectoral girdle bones and muscles of numerous catfishes was studied in detail and compared with that of other siluriforms, as well as of other teleosts, described in the literature. The pectoral girdle of catfishes is composed of only three bones, which probably correspond to the posttemporo-supracleithrum (posttemporal + supracleithrum), scapulo-coracoid (scapula + coracoid), and cleithrum of other teleosts. These latter two bones constitute the place of origin of the pectoral girdle muscles. Two of these muscles are related to the movements of the pectoral fin. These two muscles correspond, very likely, to the abductor superficialis and to the adductor superficialis of other teleostean fishes. In relation to the pectoral spine (thickened first pectoral fin ray), it is usually moved by three well-developed muscles, which are probably homologous with the arrector ventralis, arrector dorsalis, and abductor profundus of nonsiluriform teleosts. The morphological diversity and the plesiomorphic configuration of these muscles, as well as of the other catfish pectoral girdle structures, are discussed.