Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Catfish study reveals multiplicity of species

Date:
January 11, 2011
Source:
Bangor University
Summary:
An extensive investigation of South American Corydoras catfish, reveals that catfish communities, although containing almost identically colored and patterned fish, could actually contain three or more different species. Establishing for the first time that many species are mimetic, this discovery suggests that in many cases the number of Corydoras catfish species may be higher than previously recognized, with consequent implications for environmentalists charged with protecting environmental diversity and safeguarding the species.

C. sp. C68 & C. maculifer
Credit: Image courtesy of Bangor University

Peer into any stream in a South American rainforest and you may well see a small shoal of similar-looking miniature catfish. But don't be fooled into thinking that they are all the same species.

An extensive investigation of South American Corydoras catfish, reveals that catfish communities- although containing almost identically coloured and patterned fish, could actually contain three or more different species.

Establishing for the first time that many species are mimetic; that is, they evolve to share the same colour patterns for mutual benefit- the research also established that each individual community of similar looking fish comprised species belonging to different genetic lineages, but still adopting similar colour patterns.

This discovery suggests that in many cases the number of Corydoras catfish species may be higher than previously recognised. This has consequent implications for environmentalists charged with protecting environmental diversity and safeguarding the species.

This increases the challenge of conserving these species at a time when many South American rivers are experiencing large scale development involving damn building, and destruction or contamination of habitats.

Markos Alexandrou, PhD student at Bangor University and one of the paper's authors said: "Although appearing identical in terms of colour pattern, our in-depth assessments of genetic relationships, diet, body shape and colour patterns of the fish revealed that 92% of the communities we sampled comprised species that do not compete for resources.

Dr Martin Taylor, project leader at the University's School of Biological Sciences said: "This research highlights the hidden diversity and complexity found within neotropical freshwater ecosystems. Unfortunately, these habitats are also under extreme pressure from human activities."

Claudio Oliveira of project partners, (UNESP, Botucatu, Brazil) said: "Besides the unknown biodiversity and interesting evolutionary system revealed by this study, it reinforces the urgent need to preserve and manage South American environments to avoid the loss of many species yet to be discovered and described."

The research was funded by the UK's Natural Environment Research Council, and supported by UNESP, Brazil.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Bangor University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Markos A. Alexandrou, Claudio Oliveira, Marjorie Maillard, Rona A. R. McGill, Jason Newton, Simon Creer, Martin I. Taylor. Competition and phylogeny determine community structure in Müllerian co-mimics. Nature, 2011; 469 (7328): 84 DOI: 10.1038/nature09660

Cite This Page:

Bangor University. "Catfish study reveals multiplicity of species." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110105131745.htm>.
Bangor University. (2011, January 11). Catfish study reveals multiplicity of species. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110105131745.htm
Bangor University. "Catfish study reveals multiplicity of species." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110105131745.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) — An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) — Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins