The Development of the Digestive Tract in Larval European Catfish (Silurus glanis L.)
The European catfish, Silurus glanis L., has become an important aqua cultural fish in Croatia, and it is cultivated extensively in ponds in polyculture with carps. The development of the digestive tract in S. glanis was studied with the aim of improving intensive fish production. Research was carried out on S. glanis larval stadium from 1- to 19-day post-hatching (DPH). The main histological methods used were: haematoxylin and eosin staining, periodic acid Schiff staining (PAS), Alcian blue (AB) and toluidin blue staining (TB). A yolk sac was present during the first 5 days (1-5-DPH). During the initial 3-DPH period, there was no trace PAS and AB activity in the digestive tract. Differentiation of the digestive tract began at 3- to 5-DPH. The oesophagus was positive for AB at 5-DPH, PAS and TB after 7-DPH. Differentiation of enterocytes began at 5-DPG and the intestines were complete at 11-DPH. Development of liver and pancreas was also studied. The analysis of data obtained in this study suggests that after 5-DPH catfish larvae have morphologically completed digestive tracts.