LfDRARY MAR 1 8 1985 B R E V-'-F^ R A Museum of Comparative Zoology IS ISSN ()()()6 9(i!)8 Camhridge, Mass. 30JunkI982 NrviBHR470 SYSTEMATIC IMPLICATIONS OF INNERVATION PATTERNS IN TELEOST MYOTOMES QuENTiN Bone' and R. Dana Onc)^ Abstract. The peripheral innervation patterns of the red and white myotomal muscles from over 230 species representing more than 125 families of teleosts uere studied. A distributed, multiple innervation pattern ot telcost red superficial myotomal muscles was found without exception in all groups examined. 1 here is variabilitN' in the innervation patterns of the white m\otomal muscles, however. A terminally innervated pattern seems to be present in the basal groups of teleosts. while a trend toward distributed mnervation occurs in the Neoteleostei. Stomii-formes possess a rather different distributed pattern which \ve suggest is the early, transitional stage from terminal to distributed innervation patterns in teleosts. There appears to be a distinct functional difference in the distributed and terminal innervation patterns. The innervation of the uhite mvotomal libers should be considered a taxonomicallv useful character in elucidating familial relaiionships. INTRODUCTION In all fishes, there are two main muscle fiber types in the myotomes, usually readily visible to the naked eye when the fish is sectioned transversely. Small-diameter, well-vascularized red mus-cle fibers normally form a thin superficial layer covering the much more numerous, larger-diameter. poorl\-vascularized white muscle fibers that make up the major portion of the myotome. In some fishes, but not in all, other myotomal fiber types are present. These minor myotomal components will not concern us here. In all fishes. 'The Laboratory. Citadel Hill. Plymouth PI 1 2PB. Devon. England. -Museum of Comparative Zoology. Harvard I'niversitv. Cambridge. Massachusctt--02138.