Caption: Goby fish skin and neuromasts (Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum). The convict cichlid, Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum (formerly known as Archocentrus nigrofasciatum), is a laterally compressed cichlid with an oval body shape. Shown in this image is the forehead area of the cichlid (just above the upper lip) with a grouping of neuromasts. The neuromast is a sensory organ (mechanosensory) that consists of a cluster of sensory hair cells that are connected to nerve cells. Neuromasts are part of the lateral line and other head areas of most fish. They are found either on the skin surface or in pit organs. They are used to detect motion or vibrations in the water, especially hydrodynamic water flow across the fish surface. The sensory cells of the neuromast have hair-like structures called stereocilia (short, non-motile cilia) and a kinocilium (long, motile cilium) that are connected to nerve cells. The hair cells are surrounded by supporting cells that secrete a gelatinous cupula. Fish skin like many other vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals) consists of two principal layers - superficial epidermis and deeper dermis. The epidermis consists of two or more layers. The deepest is a series of closely packed, discrete cells called the germinal layer, or stratum germinativum. The outer epidermal cells are formed from the germinal layer. Body fish slimes are produced by epidermal cells and their degradation. Epidermal cells can have highly convoluted surfaces that retain slime which has a primary function of protection from pathogens and parasites.
Magnification*: x30
Type: SEM
Copyright 2009 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
Keywords: 25202C,miscellaneous vertebrates,fish,convict cichlid,zebra cichlid,cichlid,Hawaii,Cichlasoma,Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum,Archocentrus,Archocentrus nigrofasciatum,08.01.09,cilia,cilium,epithelial cell,epithelial cells,fish epidermis,fish skin,germinal layer,goby,hair cell,hair cells,kinocilia,kinocilium,mechanoreceptor,mechanoreceptors,mechanosensory,neuromast,neuromasts,SEM,sense organ,sensory cell,sensory cells,sensory hair cell,sensory hair cells,stereocilia,stereocilium,stratum germinativum,superficial epidermis,fish epithelia,fish epithelium,misc. vertebrate,misc. vertebrates,miscellaneous vertebrate,vertebrate,vertebrates