I am currently studying the ecology and lifehistory of Hemichromis
letourneauxi, an introduced west African cichlid inhabiting the freshwater
canals of south Florida, U.S. One facet I am looking at is their feeding
habits and any possible overlaps they may have with native species.
To do this I am removing the stomach and intestinal contents. I have chosen
to snip the tissue just posterior to the transverse septum, and at the
second 180 degree intestinal turn.
I have a noticed an organ, resembling a blind sac, that lies at the
anterior end of the removed section (placing it just posterior of the
transverse septum). It resembles the structure of a stomach, yet never
appears to have food items present, and seems to be connected via a single
It must be a secretory organ associated with digestion. When opened, it
appeard to have a thick wall and contains a whitish/yellowish fluid. Again,
It stongly resembles a stomach, yet I never find any food items in the
stomach, even on fish with loaded intestinal tracts.
Does anyone have an idea what this structure may be? Is it located in any
other cichlids, or other taxa?
Thanks in advance,
Christopher A. Nordstrom
Department of Biology
University of Central Florida
voice: (407) 823-2141
fax : (407) 823-5769
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