Geometric morphometric and meristic analysis of the deepwater goby, Ponticola bathybius (Kessler, 1877) (Teleostei: Gobiidae) in the Iranian waters of the Caspian Sea

Fatemeh TAJBAKHSH, Carol A. STEPIEN, Asghar ABDOLI, Narjes TABATABAEI, Bahram H. KIABI

Abstract

Landmark-based geometric morphometric and meristic characters were used to explore morphological variation among three population samples of deepwater goby, Ponticola bathybius, (Family Gobiidae) along the southern Caspian Sea in Iran. Morphological differences were studied using the geometric morphometric method of thin-plate splines and multivariate analysis of partial warp scores on the left and dorsal sides of the specimens. Non parametric MANOVA discerned significant differences in shape variations among the population samples. Also, the three samples exhibited significant differences in meristic data. Mantel test results indicated that there was no relationship between the morphological data and geographic distances, suggesting spatially heterogeneous levels of morphological divergence.

Keywords

Perciformes, Morphological variations, Shape analysis, Landmark, Meristic.

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References

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