|Development of jaws and dentition in two morphs of pupfish (Cyprinodon) from San Salvador Island, Bahamas.|
|Emily Madden1, Michael Barton1|
At least three distinct morphs of the pupfish genus Cyprinodon are known from San Salvador Island, Bahamas. The “normal” morph is represented by C. variegatus; this morph is believed to have given rise to two genetically distinct morphs named “bozo” and “bulldog” for their distinctive jaw structure. The development of jaw and dental structure was investigated in the normal and bozo morphs in an attempt to correlate this development with perceived differences in larval and adult feeding habits. Larvae of the “normal” and “bulldog” morphs were reared in the laboratory, individuals of selected sizes were preserved, and the jaws and teeth analyzed with image capture and analysis software used with both a scanning electron microscope and a light microscope. Our investigations reveal differences in the developmental trajectory of the premaxillary and dentary bones in the jaw and also suggest a correlation of dental ontogeny with presumed feeding strategies of larval cyprinodont fishes.