Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 153–165

Brain morphology and turbidity preference in Notropis and related genera (Cyprinidae, Teleostei)

  • Robert Huber
  • Michael K. Rylander

DOI: 10.1007/BF00002561

Cite this article as:
Huber, R. & Rylander, M.K. Environ Biol Fish (1992) 33: 153. doi:10.1007/BF00002561


The size of seven neural structures was compared in 51 species of Notropis, Pteronotropis, Cyprinella, Luxilus, Lythrurus, and Hybopsis, and related to the turbidity of the species& habitat. This last parameter was assessed for each species by personal communication with 42 ichthyologists. To control for size differences among species, all analyses were performed on the residuals from a regression of each character on standard length. Principal components analysis (PCA) of the residuals produced four significant PC-axes that together explained 65% of the total variation represented in the original variables. The size of brain structures concerned with vision, olfaction, and gustation was correlated with habitat turbidity. Two-way Analyses of Covariance (ANCOVAs) revealed significant differences between species in the size of all structures. Sexual dimorphism was found in the size of the olfactory bulb and the cerebellum, and significant two-way interactions (species vs. sex) were detected for the telencephalon, optic lobes, cerebellum, vagal lobe, and the eye. Cluster analysis indicated that neither similar turbidity preference nor shared phylogeny is alone sufficient to explain the observed differences in brain morphology.

Key words


Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Huber
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael K. Rylander
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesTexas Tech UniversityLubbockU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of NeurobiologyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonU.S.A.