Letter | Published:

The Double Lateral Line of Lepidosiren

Nature volume 128, page 377 (29 August 1931) | Download Citation



A FEW days ago when examining a small male specimen of Lepidosiren, one of three which I brought alive on May 1 from the island of Marajo at the mouth of the Amazon River, and which are now living in the Zoological Society's Aquarium, I noticed that it had two lateral lines on each side, one slightly dorsal to the middle of the side, the other near to the mid-ventral line. Since then I have examined more thoroughly a much larger female specimen, and have observed a few more details. The course of the sensory tubes is marked by lines of intense black, contrasting sharply with the light brown of the rest of the skin when the colour is in its pale phase. The principal lateral line, which may be described as dorso-lateral, branches out over the head into the usual three tracts, one above the eye, one between the eye and the mouth, and one below the mouth, or supra-ocular, maxillary, and mandibular. The ventro-lateral line at its anterior end anastomoses with the mandibular branches of the dorso-lateral. Each of the lateral lines is associated with short branches which are obliquely transverse to its course, but these short streaks are slightly separated from the main dorso-lateral line and dorsal to it; in the case of the ventro-lateral line, they are ventral to the line, and arise directly from it. A series of similar short oblique streaks occur on either side of the mid-dorsal line of the fish, but not a continuous line.

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  1. 1.

    Trans. Zool. Soc., vol. 14, p. 11.

  2. 2.

    Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 6, vol. 14, 1894, p. 6.

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  1. 35 Wavendon Avenue, Chiswick, W.4, July 22.



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