Gross morphology of the cephalic sensory canal pores in Patagonian toothfish Dissostichus eleginoides Smitt, 1898 from southern Chile (Perciformes: Nototheniidae)
This study describes the cephalic sensory canal pores of the Patagonian toothfish's juvenile and adult specimens (Dissostichus eleginoides) from southern Chile. Specimens exhibited four supraorbital, eight infraorbital, and five mandibular pores, followed by six preoperculars, one coronal pore, one supratemporal pore, and four temporal pores. Juveniles exhibited circular pores in the mandibular, infraorbital, and preopercular region. The first two supraorbital pores are circular, the third is rectangular, and the fourth triangular. The coronal pore is circular with a bifurcation; the supratemporal pore is rectangular. In adults, the first mandibular canal pore is circular, and the last four are elongated. The preopercular canal pores are elongated. The two first supraorbital canal pores are circular, unlike the third and fourth, which are rectangular. The coronal pore is rectangular without bifurcation, and the supratemporal pore has a T-shape. The jaw of juveniles does not present all mandibular canal pores; in the infraorbital region, the first five pores extend as a thin canaliculus, while the adjacent pores appear as longer canaliculi in adults. The differences could be related to changes in spatial distribution during larval, juvenile, and adult stages. Adult cephalic sensory canal pores may have an important role in detecting vibratory waves allowing them to capture their prey and perceive potential predators. Our results provide information regarding the cephalic sensory canal pores of the Patagonian toothfish that may stimulate future studies of this species' mechanosensory system.