Adults of nine species of surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae) from the Red Sea, Israel and the Eastern Tropical Pacific off Mexico possess previously undescribed fat bodies associated with both male and female gonads. These structures are unique in that they are external to the abdominal cavity, are composed almost entirely of highly-saturated triacylglycerols, and appear to have close circulatory connection with the gonads. In all species except one, the fat bodies rest in triangular pockets between the trunk musculature and skin, which extend posteriorly just above the anal fin base. The composition, arrangement and dynamics of the fat bodies suggest that they support the active gonad during a spawning season that lasts, in one species, from May to September.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science