The embryonic and early larval development of the Cherskii’s sculpin Cottus czerskii Berg, 1913 was studied. The duration of the embryonic period was 21 days at a water temperature of 9–10°C. Pelagic larvae of approximately 8.0 mm total length leave the egg envelopes, with a large rounded yolk sac with one large oil globule, 10–12 trunk and 30–31 precaudal myomeres and several large melanophores on the yolk sac, 2 melanophores in the peritoneal region, and 30 melanophores in a postanal ventral row. At 11 days after hatching at a length of 9.0 mm, the yolk sac is completely resorbed and the number of myomeres remains the same; seven rays become visible in the caudal fin. The fully formed larva of C. czerskii has an elongated body, a small head, a rounded snout, and an oblong tail part. The melanophores are located in the peritoneal area above the gut, in the abdominal area, and in the postanal ventral row. Armament in the form of spines on the top of the head is absent, pointing to the affiliation of the species that we studied to the Cottus–Leptocottus phenetic group.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 12, 2016
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