Image: Toxin glands of a Southern Peacock Sole

Toxin glands of a Southern Peacock Sole

A section of the anterior region of the anal fin of a Southern Peacock Sole, Pardachirus hedleyi, showing the fin rays (fr), toxin glands (tg) and pores (p).  The head end of the fish is to the left of the image. The toxin glands are normally not visible. The fish in the image is in the process of being cleared and stained, a process during which an enzyme, trypsin, is used to clear the flesh of the fish, and stains are used to colour the bones and cartilage.

Photographer:
Tony Gill
Rights:
© Tony Gill

Notes

Some of the soles are known for their ability to release a toxin from glands at the bases of the dorsal and anal fin rays. The toxin is a predator repellant.  Helfman et. al. (2009) state that "The Red Sea Moses Sole, Pardachirus marmoratus, exudes a toxin, pardatoxin, reported to be a natural shark repellant".

Reference:
Helfman, G.S., Collette, B.B., Facey, D.E. and B.W. Bowen. 2009. The diversity of fishes: biology, evolution and ecology. 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester. Pp. 720.

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Tags Toxin glands, Southern Peacock Sole, Pardachirus hedleyi, Soleidae,