Mikheev P.B., Baklanov M.A., Nikiforov A.I., Semenchenko A.A. 2019. Comparative study of the seismosensory system of two Amur grayling species in the zone of the sympatry. Acta Ichthyol. Piscat. 49 (4): 381–388.
This study was initiated for the morphological comparison of two species of recently described Amur graylings collected in the unique zone of their sympatry. This provided an infrequent opportunity for the estimation of the species-specific morphological diversification not determined by environmental conditions dissimilarity. This study aimed to compare the seismosensory systems of two species of Amur grayling, the lower Amur grayling, Thymallus tugarinae Knizhin, Antonov, Safronov et Weiss, 2007, and yellow-spotted grayling, Thymallus flavomaculatus Knizhin, Antonov et Weiss, 2006, collected in sympatric habitats with the inclusion of the published data on other northeast Asia grayling species.
Materials and methods.
The comparative study was based on samples of T. tugarinae and T. flavomaculatus specimens collected at species sympatric habitats in the middle stretch of the Anyuy River, one of the biggest tributaries of the Amur River. The lateral line system was stained, the topology was examined, and seismosensory system canal pores were counted. Differences in canal pore numbers between examined species were estimated with Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Also, cluster analysis was carried out.
Examined sympatric species were found to differ in the number of pores and secondary canaliculi topology but were similar to geographically distant grayling species.
The results revealed sympatric morphological divergence of studied species and demonstrated parallelism of interspecies variability of examined features which are likely determined by conditions of species ecological optima. Comparative morphological analysis of the species and forms with questionable taxonomic status should be carried out using material that is collected in different parts of the habitation areal, paying special attention to the sympatry zones, if there are any such cohabitation regions, because the environmental factors have similar effects on all of the analysed species within such zones.
Amur River, seismosensory lateral line system, sympatric zone, Thymallus tugarinae, Thymallus flavomaculatus