Reduced State of Skin Sense Organs in Sphenodon punctatus (Rhynchocephalia: Sphenodontidae) and Its Phylogenetical Value

Tatjana N. Dujsebayeva, Natalia B. Ananjeva, Larissa K. Iohanssen


The topography, morphology and numerical distribution of skin sense organs in Sphenodon punctatus integument are studied. Skin sense organs of different diameter are recorded for all the scales from the head and body. The scales of the body, tail and limbs bear, as a rule 1, rarely 2, receptors per scale. Maximal number of skin sense organs (1 – 3 per scale) is shown for the labial shield and scales. The reduced state of skin sense organ number in Sphenodon punctatus is discussed for evaluation of this character state and with regards to the present interpretation of primitive metameric condition of these structures.


Rhynchocephalia; Sphenodon punctatus; skin sense organs; morphology; topography

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