Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




This study was undertaken to determine if there were osteological variations in the skulls of young summer flounders, Paralichthys dentatus (Linaeus), southern flounders, Paralichthys lethostigma Jordan and Gilbert and - gulf flounders, Paralichthys albigutta Jordan and Gilbert that could be used as bases of species separation. As two of the species (dentatus and lethostigma) are of considerable economic importance, it would be of substantial value to establish skeletal characters that would help identify the young and. subsequently aid in determining their particular habitats where they occur in the same area.The three are closely related and difficult to recognize unless the pigment pattern is developed separated them primarily by gill raker, anal ray and dorsal ray counts or by correlation of these and considered them to be well defined species acknowledged only two of the three species. They easily separated denaus by numbers of gill rakers, anal rays and dorsal rays; however, they were unable to distinguish lethostigma from z.albigutta and grouped them into a single species, E·albigutta.

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