Ontogenesis of the eyestalk structures in Palaemon serratus has been studied during the larval and postlarval life by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and light microscopy (LM). At hatching, a larval sensory pore is observed in the zoea. The organ of Bellonci is present with its typical onion bodies. During larval life, this organ grows and differentiates. Vacuolization in the organ of Bellonci starts in stage 4. At the same time, the giant neuron appears, but the sinus gland cannot be recognized before stage 5.
During larval life, vesicular cells are present in the optic medullae with an increase during stages 4 and 5. The differentiation of the neurosecretory cells of MEX (medulla externa X-organ) and MTGX (medulla terminalis ganglionaris X-organ) occurs with metamorphosis. The main sensory pore appears with metamorphosis and becomes clearly visible in postlarval life.
The movements of the structures, which occupy different positions in larvae and adults, are described in relation to the longitudinal axis of the eyestalk. A schematic representation explains the torsion of the eyestalk and the dynamics and growth during the formation of the eyestalk structures.