Genetic and morphological identification of peacock bass species: occurrence of morphotype in São Paulo state

Andrea A. F. Mourão, Diogo F. Souza, Diogo T. Hashimoto, Daniela C. Ferreira, Fernanda D. do Prado, Rosicleire V. Silveira, Fausto Foresti, Fábio Porto-Foresti


The presence of non-native species in natural aquatic environments is currently one of the major threats to global biodiversity and an important factor to promote the extinction of aquatic species. The species of the genus Cichla BLOCH & SCHNEIDER, 1801, popularly known as peacock bass are among the strongest invasive fish species that succeeded in their introduction. Thus, introductory success of these species and the similarities found among peacock bass species that cause possible misidentification, can be listed as current issues involving the representatives of this group. In this context, the present study aims to provide more reliable tools to characterize and identify the species. Samples of Cichla kelberi KULLANDER & FERREIRA, 2006, Cichla piquiti KULLANDER & FERREIRA, 2006 and peacock bass carijó individuals were collected in different localities of the São Paulo State reservoirs. The individual sampled were morphologically and genetically analyzed. All the analyses separated clearly C. kelberi to C. piquiti and identified two distinct groups among individuals of C. piquiti, suggesting that these individuals identified can compose a morphotype. It can be considered that the informations could be useful to the evaluation of the introductory processes of the species C. kelberi and C. piquiti in that watershed and also to future management and conservation programs involving these species.

Iheringia Série Zoologia

Museu de Ciências Naturais, Fundação Zoobotânica do Rio Grande do Sul

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