The cichlid fish of Cuatro Cienegas, Mexico. Direct evidence of conspecificity among distinct trophic morphs.

I. Kornfield, D. C. Smith, P. S. Gagnon, J. N. Taylor

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81 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two discrete cichlid fishes endemic to Cuatro Cienegas differ significantly in several morphological characters associated with feeding specializations. Conventional taxonomic treatment would suggest the presence of 2 distinct species, but the presence of a single polymorphic biological species has been argued. Biochemical comparisons and observations of reproduction revealed gene and genotypic homogeneity between the 2 types of fishes. Of cichlid pairs collected in the process of mating, 57% involved matings between forms, unequivocally suggesting the existence of a single Mendelian population. Trophic polymorphism may represent an alternative strategy to adaptive radiation and may inflate estimates of species diversity based solely on phenetically defined taxa.- from Author

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-664
Number of pages7
JournalEvolution
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

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