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Zoology (Jena). 2011 Dec;114(6):340-7. doi: 10.1016/j.zool.2011.05.005. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

Jaw muscle fiber type distribution in Hawaiian gobioid stream fishes: histochemical correlations with feeding ecology and behavior.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University, SC 29634, USA.


Differences in fiber type distribution in the axial muscles of Hawaiian gobioid stream fishes have previously been linked to differences in locomotor performance, behavior, and diet across species. Using ATPase assays, we examined fiber types of the jaw opening sternohyoideus muscle across five species, as well as fiber types of three jaw closing muscles (adductor mandibulae A1, A2, and A3). The jaw muscles of some species of Hawaiian stream gobies contained substantial red fiber components. Some jaw muscles always had greater proportions of white muscle fibers than other jaw muscles, independent of species. In addition, comparing across species, the dietary generalists (Awaous guamensis and Stenogobius hawaiiensis) had a lower proportion of white muscle fibers in all jaw muscles than the dietary specialists (Lentipes concolor, Sicyopterus stimpsoni, and Eleotris sandwicensis). Among Hawaiian stream gobies, generalist diets may favor a wider range of muscle performance, provided by a mix of white and red muscle fibers, than is typical of dietary specialists, which may have a higher proportion of fast-twitch white fibers in jaw muscles to help meet the demands of rapid predatory strikes or feeding in fast-flowing habitats.

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