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Revista Brasileira de Zoologia

Print version ISSN 0101-8175

Rev. Bras. Zool. vol.17 no.4 Curitiba Dec. 2000 

Microscopic morphology and histochemistry of the digestive system of a tropical freshwater fish Trichomycterus brasiliensis (Lütken) (Siluroidei, Trichomycteridae)



Ciro Alberto de Oliveira Ribeiro; Edith Fanta

Departamento de Biologia Celular, Universidade Federal do Paraná. Caixa Postal 19031, 81531-970 Curitiba, Paraná, Brasil. E-mail:




The digestive system of Trichomycterus brasiliensis (Lütken, 1874), a small sized tropical Teleostean fish widely distributed in South America, was studied. Tissue samples were prepared for light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Trichomycterus brasiliensis shows stratified esophagus epithelium with taste buds and goblet cells with neutral and acid mucus at the anterior region. The stomach is caecal, presenting a pyloric valve with neutral mucus cells. At the terminal portion it is surrounded by a thick muscular wall. The intestine shows two loops; the epithelium is single columnar, with acid and neutral mucus in goblet cells. Multicellular intestinal glands are absent. Granular cells are often seen in the mucosa, less in the submucosa but were not observed in the muscularis. After the intestine-rectal valve, the rectum shows lower mucosal folds, more goblet cells and a thicker muscularis. No lobes were observed at the liver. Small regions of pancreatic tissue may be identified within the hepatic tissue mainly surrounding vessels and ducts. A compact pancreas may also be observed ventrally to the stomach and covering the bile duct. The possible significance of the heterogeneous character of the digestive tube mucosubstances is discussed. The digestive system of T. brasiliensis presents structural characteristics of a predator fish.

Key words: Teleostei, digestive tube, histology



Full text available only in PDF format.



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. Financial supported was provided by CNPq and CAPES. The authors are grateful to the Electron Microscopy Center of the Federal University of Paraná for technical assistance. The editorial assistance of Dr. Helena Kavall was greatly appreciated.



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Recebido em 16.IX.1999; aceito em 07.XII.2000.

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