Main Article Content


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.


Perciformes Morphological variations Shape analysis Landmark Meristic.

Article Details

Author Biography

Fatemeh TAJBAKHSH, Department of Marine Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences and Technologies, Shahid Beheshti University, G. C., Tehran, Iran.

How to Cite
TAJBAKHSH, F., STEPIEN, C. A., ABDOLI, A., TABATABAEI, N., & KIABI, B. H. (2018). Geometric morphometric and meristic analysis of the deepwater goby, Ponticola bathybius (Kessler, 1877) (Teleostei: Gobiidae) in the Iranian waters of the Caspian Sea. Iranian Journal of Ichthyology, 5(1), 64–73.


    Abdoli, A.; Allahyari, S.; Patimar, R. & Kiabi, B.H. 2012. Feeding strategies of three Neogobius species in the Gomishan Wetland of Iran, South-east Caspian Sea: (Osteichthyes: Gobiidae). Zoology in the Middle East 56(1): 49-54.
    Begg, G.A. & Waldman, J.R. 1999. An holistic approach to fish stock identification. Fisheries research 43(1): 35-44.
    Cadrin, S.X. & Friedland, K.D. 1999. The utility of image processing techniques for morphometric analysis and stock identification. Fisheries Research 43(1): 129-139.
    Cerwenka, A.F.; Alibert, P.; Brandner, J.; Geist, J. & Schliewen, U.K. 2014. Phenotypic differentiation of Ponto-Caspian gobies during a contemporary invasion of the upper Danube River. Hydrobiologia 721(1): 269-284.
    Coad, B.W. 2016. Freshwater Fishes of Iran. Available at Contents%new.htm/(last accessed 7 May 2016)
    Cullen, P.; McCarthy, T. & Doherty, D. 2007. The Coomasaharn char, a morphometrically highly specialised form of Salvelinus alpinus in Ireland. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 16(1): 41-46.
    Dorado, E.; Torres, M.A. & Demayo, C.G. 2012. Describing Body Shapes of the White Goby, Glossogobius giuris of Lake Buluan in Mindanao, Philippines using landmark-based geometric morphometric analysis. International Research Journal of Biological Sciences 1(7): 33-7.
    Erguden, D.; Öztürk, B.; Erdogan, Z.A. & Turan, C. 2009. Morphologic structuring between populations of chub mackerel Scomber japonicus in the Black, Marmara, Aegean, and northeastern Mediterranean Seas. Fisheries Science 75(1): 129-135.
    Ferrito, V.; Mannino, M.C.; Pappalardo, AM. & Tigano, C. 2007. Journal of Fish Biology 70(1): 1-20.
    Gayoor, H.; Massodian, S.; Azadi, M. & Noori, H. 2011. Temporal and spatial analysis of precipitation events in the southern coasts of Caspian Sea. Geographic Research 26(100): 1-30.
    Ghanbarifardi, M.; Aliabadian, M.; Esmaeili, H.R. & Polgar, G. 2014. Morphological divergence in the Walton's Mudskipper, Periophthalmus waltoni Koumans, 1941, from the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman (Gobioidei: Gobiidae). Zoology in the Middle East 60(2): 133-143.
    Gholami, Z.; Esmaeili H.R.; Erpenbeck, D. & Reichenbacher, B. 2015. Genetic connectivity and phenotypic plasticity in the cyprinodont Aphanius farsicus from the Maharlu Basin, south‐western Iran. Journal of Fish Biology 86 (3): 882-906.
    Gill, A.C.; & Mooi, R.D. 2012. Thalasseleotrididae, new family of marine gobioid fishes from New Zealand and temperate Australia, with a revised definition of its sister taxon, the Gobiidae (Teleostei: Acanthomorpha). Zootaxa 32(66): 41-52.
    Grˇnbaum, T.; Cloutier, R.; Mabee, P.M. & Le François, N.R. 2007. Early developmental plasticity and integrative responses in arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus): Effects of water velocity on body size and shape. Journal of Experimental Zoology (Mol Dev Evol) 308: 396-408.
    Hashemzadeh Segherloo, I.; Farahmand, H.; Abdoli, A.; Bernatchez, L.; Primmer, CR.; Swatdipong, A.; Karami, M. & Khalili, B. 2012. Phylogenetic status of brown trout Salmo trutta populations in five rivers from the southern Caspian Sea and two inland lake basins, Iran: a morphogenetic approach. Journal of Fish Biology 81(5): 1479-1500.
    Hossain, M.A.; Nahiduzzaman, M.; Saha, D.; Khanam, M.U.H. & Alam, M.S. 2010. Landmark-based morphometric and meristic variations of the endangered carp, Kalibaus Labeo calbasu, from stocks of two isolated rivers, the Jamuna and Halda, and a hatchery. Zoological Studies 49(4): 556-563.
    Ibrayev, R.A.; Özsoy, E.; Schrum, C., & Sur, H. I. 2010. Seasonal variability of the Caspian Sea three-dimensional circulation, sea level and air-sea interaction. Ocean Science 6(1): 311-329.
    Karsiotis, S.I.; Pierce, L.R.; Brown, J.E. & Stepien, C.A. 2012. Salinity tolerance of the invasive round goby: experimental implications for seawater ballast exchange and spread to North American estuaries. Journal of Great Lakes Research 38(1): 121-128
    Khalijah Daud, S.; Mohammadi, M.; Shapor Siraj, S. & Pauzi Zakaria, M. (2005). Morphometric analysis of Malasian oxdercine goby, Beleophthalmus boddarti (Pallas, 1770). Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science 28(2): 121-134.
    Khoshravan, H.; Rohanizadeh, S.; Malek, J. & Nejadgholi, G. 2010. Caspian Sea southern coasts zoning on the basis of sedimentary morphodynamic indicators. Journal of the Earth and Space Physics 37(3): 1-15.
    Kocovsky, P.; Sullivan, T.J.; Knight, C.T. & Stepien, C.A. 2013. Genetic and morphometric differences demonstrate fine‐scale population substructure of the yellow perch Perca flavescens: need for redefined management units. Journal of Fish Biology 82(6): 2015-2030.
    Lima-Filho, P.A.D.; Cioffi, de B.; Bertollo, M.L.A.C. & Molina, W.F. 2012. Chromosomal and morphological divergences in Atlantic populations of the frillfin goby Bathygobius soporator (Gobiidae, Perciformes). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 434: 63-70.
    Mahalanobis, P.C. 1936. On the generalised distance in statistics., Proceedings of the National Institute of Sciences of India 2, 49–55. Available at insa/INSA_41/20006193_20006149.pdf/
    Mantel, N. 1967. The detection of disease clustering and a generalized regression approach. Cancer research 27(2 Part 1): 209-220.
    Miller, P. 2003. The Freshwater Fishes of Europe–Mugilidae, Atherinidae, Atherinopsidae, Blenniidae, Odontobutidae, Gobiidae Vol8/1. Edit. AULA-Verlag.
    Neilson, M.E., & Stepien, C.A. 2009. Escape from the Ponto-Caspian: evolution and biogeography of an endemic goby species flock (Benthophilinae: Gobiidae: Teleostei). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 52(1): 84-102.
    Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the World. John Willey & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, USA.
    Ohlberger, J.; Staaks G.; & Hölker, F. 2006. Swimming efficiency and the influence of morphology on swimming costs in fishes. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 176 (1):17-25.
    Paez, D.J.; Hedger, R.; Bernatchez, L. & Dodson, J.J. 2008. The morphological plastic response to water current velocity varies with age and sexual state in juvenile Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar. Freshwater Biology 53(8): 1544-1554.
    Ries, R.D. & Perry, S.A. 1995. Potential effects of global climate warming on brook trout growth and prey consumption in central Appalachian streams, USA. Climate Research 5(3): 197-206.
    Rincón, P.A.; Bastir, M. & Grossman, G.D. 2007. Form and performance: body shape and prey-capture success in four drift-feeding minnows. Oecologia 152(2): 345-355
    Rohlf, F.J. 2010. Retrieved October 19, 2010 from Morphometrics at SUNY Stony Brooks Website:
    Santos, B.S. & Quilang, J.P. 2012. Geometric morphometric analysis of Arius manillensis and Arius dispar (Siluriformes: Ariidae) Populations in Laguna de Bay, Philippines. Philippine Journal of Science 141(1): 1-11.
    Stepien, C.A. & Tumeo, M. A. 2006. Invasion genetics of Ponto-Caspian gobies in the Great Lakes: a ‘cryptic’species, absence of founder effects, and comparative risk analysis. Biological Invasions 8(1): 61-78.
    Tabatabaei, F. 2011. Patterns of skull shape variation in Meriones persicus (Rodentia: Muridae) in relation to geoclimatical conditions. Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics 7(2): 129-142.
    Turan, C. 2006. The use of otolith shape and chemistry to determine stock structure of Mediterranean horse mackerel Trachurus mediterraneus (Steindachner). Journal of Fish Biology 69: 165-80.
    Ujjainia, N.C. & Kohli, M.P.S. 2011. Landmark-based morphometric analysis for selected species of Indian major carp (Catla catla, Ham. 1822). International Journal of Food, Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences 1: 64-74.
    Winfield, I. & Nelson, J. S. 2012. Cyprinid Fishes: Systematics, Biology and Exploitation (Vol. 3): Springer Science & Business Media.