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Open AccessArticle

Morphological Convergence and Divergence in Galaxias Fishes in Lentic and Lotic Habitats

1
Department of Zoology, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
2
Freshwater Team, Biodiversity Group, Department of Conservation, Private Bag 4715, Christchurch Mail Centre, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
3
Ichthyo-niche, PO Box 61, Dunsandel 7657, New Zealand
4
Discipline of Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 55, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(5), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12050183
Received: 31 March 2020 / Revised: 1 May 2020 / Accepted: 3 May 2020 / Published: 8 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolutionary Genetics and Biogeography of Galaxiid Fishes)
The influence of contrasting lentic and lotic hydrological environments on the morphology of members of the Galaxias vulgaris species complex was examined. Morphological variation between habitat types was investigated by comparison of populations of Galaxias brevipinnis (inferred ancestor), Galaxias gollumoides (roundhead morphotype) and Galaxias vulgaris (flathead morphotype). Interspecific convergence and intraspecific divergence of morphological characters were demonstrated, representing general shifts in morphology towards a common functional form in particular hydrological environments. In all species, more lentic Galaxias had longer bodies; shorter, more stout caudal peduncles; longer, narrower pectoral fins; and longer, wider heads with larger mouths. In comparison, lotic Galaxias had relatively shorter bodies; more slender caudal peduncles; broader pectoral fins; and shorter flatter heads, with smaller mouths. This study suggests that the hydrological environment of a habitat is an important factor moulding and maintaining an individual fish’s morphology to a particular habitat type, most likely representing a phenotypic plastic response. View Full-Text
Keywords: Galaxias brevipinnis; Galaxias gollumoides; Galaxias vulgaris; morphology; hydrological environment; phenotypic plasticity Galaxias brevipinnis; Galaxias gollumoides; Galaxias vulgaris; morphology; hydrological environment; phenotypic plasticity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dunn, N.R.; O’Brien, L.K.; Burridge, C.P.; Closs, G.P. Morphological Convergence and Divergence in Galaxias Fishes in Lentic and Lotic Habitats. Diversity 2020, 12, 183.

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