High-resolution contrast enhanced microCT imaging allows accurate reconstruction of the maculae in the black molly. Accuracy of reconstruction of the macula lagenae was especially improved by using the image stack scanned with higher resolution (Bvs.A). Comparison with the dissected right ear (D) shows that end organs, maculae (especially the macula sacculi), and otoliths were reliably reconstructed. Note that in (B) the semicircular canals and the utricle are incompletely reconstructed because the field of view during scanning had to be restricted to achieve the higher resolution. For a better comparison with (B), semicircular canals including the ampullae were removed from the iodine stained, dissected ear (D). (C) shows the reconstructed otoliths of the specimen prior to staining. c, cristae of the anterior (ca, green), horizontal (ch, yellow), and posterior (cp, blue) semicircular canals; lot, lagenar otolith (yellow); ml, macula lagenae (dark brown); ms, macula sacculi (yellow orange); mu, macula utriculi (light brown); sot, saccular otolith (purple); uot, utricular otolith (red). Iodine stained otoliths all have a yellowish appearance while maculae and the overlying as well as surrounding otolithic membranes are orange red. Scale bars, 500 μm.
Schulz-Mirbach et al. Frontiers in Zoology 2013 10:63 doi:10.1186/1742-9994-10-63