2015 Volume 77 Issue 8 Pages 931-936
We investigated ontogenetic changes in the trunk muscles of the Japanese black salamander (Hynobius nigrescens) before, during and after metamorphosis. Given that amphibians change their locomotive patterns with metamorphosis, we hypothesized that they may also change the structure of their trunk muscles. The trunk muscles were macroscopically observed, and the weight ratios of each trunk muscle group were quantified at six different developmental stages. Immediately after hatching, we found that the lateral hypaxial muscle was composed of one thick M. ventralis, from ventral edge of which M. transversus abdominis arose later, followed by M. obliquus externus and M. rectus abdominis. The weight ratios of the dorsal and abdominal muscles to the trunk muscles increased with growth. We suggest that a single thick and large lateral hypaxial muscle facilitates swimming during early developmental stages. The increase in the weight ratios of the dorsal and abdominal muscles with growth possibly assists with gravity resistance necessary for terrestrial life.