Osteology and myology of the cephalic region and pectoral girdle of Plotosus lineatus, with comments on Plotosidae (Teleostei: Siluriformes) autapomorphies

Apr 1, 2005

From comparisons of the cephalic and pectoral girdle structures of Plotosus lineatus with those of other plotosid as well as non-plotosid siluriforms, plotosid catfishes can be defined by at least six autapomorphies. These are: (1) the absence of the ventral division of the muscle arrector dorsalis; (2) the double articulation between the neurocranium and the anterior part of the suspensorium; (3) the greatly enlarged utricular otolith, which profoundly inflates the ventral surfaces of both the prootic and the pterotic; (4) the attachment of the muscle extensor tentaculi on the neurocranium lies further anteriorly than its insertion on the autopalatine; (5) the coronoid process of the mandible is linked to the maxillary by means of two thick, long ligaments; (6) the enlarged base of the maxillary barbel.