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Gill morphometrics of the lampreys Lampetra fluviatilis (L.) and Lampetra planeri (Bloch)

Lewis, S.V. and Potter, I.C. (1976) Gill morphometrics of the lampreys Lampetra fluviatilis (L.) and Lampetra planeri (Bloch). Acta Zoologica, 57 (2). pp. 103-112.

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Morphometric measurements have been made on various gill components of different stages in the life cycle of the anadromous parasitic lamprey, Lampetra fluviatilis, and its nonparasitic derivative Lampetra planeri. The total gill area, expressed in terms of body weight, of both larval (1462–2717 mm2 g–1) and adult (1402–2337 mm2 g–1) L. fluviatilis are greater than those previously recorded in the rather meagre literature on lamprey gill measurements and are comparable with those found in the most active teleosts. The gills of the two Lampetra species are apparently identical in the larval stages and those of metamorphosing and adult L. planeri are similar to those of metamorphosing L. fluviatilis. Although the pharyngeal arrangement of lampreys differs greatly from that of teleosts, there are many features of the gills indicative of convergence between the two groups. Thus, in a given stage in the life cycle of lampreys, the secondary lamellae on either side of the filaments also alternate, become more widely spaced as the filament length increases and increase in area as the body weight becomes greater. Furthermore, the fractional cumulative increase in secondary lamellae area along a line following the presumed direction of water flow is also represented by a sigmoid curve.

While at metamorphosis the pharynx becomes considerably modified to accommodate the change from a unidirectional to a tidal respiratory water flow, the total gill areas of the ammocoete are similar to those of metamorphosing stages which have attained adult characteristics. However, there are clearly differences in some of the components that influence and contribute towards the total gill area. Thus, in terms of body weight, the number and total length of the filaments and the total number of secondary lamellae, together with the number of secondary lamellae found on a given distance of filament, are greater in late metamorphosing stages, while the reverse is true for the average bilateral area of the secondary lamellae which is considerably greater in ammocoetes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Copyright: © 1976 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
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