TURKISH JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC SCIENCES, cilt.8, ss.341-345, 2008
The development of the cephalic skeleton in gilthead seabream, Sparus aurata (L. 1758), larvae was examined from 1 to 41 days post-hatching during the early ontogeny tinder intensive culture conditions. At hatching, S. aurata larvae had 2.68 mm total length (TL) and were devoid of any cephalic elements. At 2.85 mm TL, the trabecular bars and the ethmoid plate appeared. Development of jaws started during the yolk-sac stage. Teeth first appeared at larval stage (7.78 mm TL) and gill filaments formed at size ranging between 8.05 and 8.9 mm TL. Finally, the dentary, maxillary and Mcckel's cartilage began to ossify at 9.20 mm TL. It is Concluded that cartilaginous elements and structures could be related with vital functions in S. aurata larvae. Also, onset time of skull was found different although same developmental pattern of skull has been described for most Sparidae species to date.