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Seasonal changes in the epidermis of the winter flounder, Pseudopleuronectes americanus*

  • D. Burton (a1) and G. L. Fletcher (a1)

Abstract

Profound cyclical changes were observed in the epidermal thickness and in the concentrations of goblet cells and epidermal melanophores in an inshore population of winter flounder, Pseudopleuronectes americanus Walbaum. There is sexual dimorphism which is particularly prominent in the thickness of the epidermis during the pre-spawning period in the spring. At this time the male develops a significantly thicker lower epidermis. During and shortly after the spawning period (lower skin), or somewhat earlier (upper skin), there is a significant thinning of the epidermis in both sexes. Significant increases occur in goblet cell frequency, those of females being greater than males, during autumn and early winter and the April/May pre-spawning period. Goblet cell frequencies decrease in mid-winter (January–March) when general activity is low, and in the thin summer epidermis. These observations are compared with data from other teleosts and discussed in relation to hormones possibly affecting the epidermal structure of teleosts and in relation to known hormonal cycles in winter flounder.

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Seasonal changes in the epidermis of the winter flounder, Pseudopleuronectes americanus*

  • D. Burton (a1) and G. L. Fletcher (a1)

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