The larval attachment organ of the tropical gar Atractosteus tropicus Gill, 1863 (Lepisosteiformes: Lepisosteidae). Academic Article uri icon


  • Larval attachment organs (LAOs) are unicellular or multicellular organs that allow larvae to adhere to a substrate before yolk-sac absorption and the free-swimming stage. This study documents the LAO of tropical gar, Atractosteus tropicus, using a combination of scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy. It is shown that the LAO of A. tropicus is a super-organ surrounded by a wall and containing at its centre many smaller multicellular organ units, each comprised of attachment and support cells. Attachment cells are secretory and house large vacuoles filled with a glycoprotein. At hatching, the super-organ is well developed and occupies almost the entire anteroventral surface of the head. During subsequent development, the smaller individual units begin to regress, until at 6days post-hatching the super-organ and its individual units are no longer visible.

published proceedings

  • J Fish Biol

altmetric score

  • 16.8

author list (cited authors)

  • Pinion, A. K., Siegel, D. S., Britz, R., Martnez-Garca, R., lvarez-Gonzlez, C. A., & Conway, K. W.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Pinion, Amanda K||Siegel, Dustin S||Britz, Ralf||Martínez-García, Rafael||Álvarez-González, Carlos A||Conway, Kevin W

publication date

  • January 2021