Polar Biology

, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 1537–1547 | Cite as

Comparative populational study of Lepidonotothen larseni and L. nudifrons (Teleostei: Nototheniidae) from the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

  • Mariana Y. Deli Antoni
  • Sergio M. Delpiani
  • Mariano González-CastroEmail author
  • Gabriela E. Blasina
  • María C. Spath
  • Gabriela E. Depiani
  • Fernando Y. Ashikaga
  • Vanessa P. Cruz
  • Claudio Oliveira
  • Juan M. Díaz de Astarloa
Original Paper


Most Antarctic notothenioids exhibit clear geographic structure at large scales of spatial separation, generally between populations off different Ocean sectors. At smaller distances, there is great variation in the extent of population structuring. The Antarctic Peninsula and the archipelago of the South Shetland Islands are separated by a narrow strait of deep water (1000 m). Despite the proximity of these two areas, the confluence of water masses of different origins establishes frontal systems and local gyres which may preclude migration between shelf populations. Among the most abundant fish species in the area, the painted notothen Lepidonotothen larseni and the gaudy notothen Lepidonotothen nudifrons are two of the most numerous and widely distributed. In the present study, the genetic and morphological population structure of these closely related species was evaluated between the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. Nine meristic counts, 18 inter-landmark distances and a mitochondrial DNA marker (D-loop) were analyzed. Populations of L. nudifrons were significantly different based on both, morphogeometric and genetic analyses, while L. larseni showed no population differentiation. The results showed a moderate structuring not correlated with distance between L. nudifrons populations off the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. These findings provide evidence that differences between the studied species may be linked to key life history events, such as timing and location of egg development, hatching times and dispersal period of larvae. The present data suggest that notothenioid population structuring at regional scale may be related to a combination of life history traits, oceanographic features and local adaptation.


Notothenioidei Antarctic fishes Southern ocean Landmark-based morphometry Mitochondrial DNA 



The authors thank Cristiane Kioko Shimabukuro Dias and Najila Nolie Catarine Dantas Cerqueira for their helpful assistance. This research was supported by Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (Project-FONDO IBOL Grant No. 3657/15), Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (EXA Grant No. 767/16), the National Science and Technology Council of the Brazilian Federal Government (CNPq Grant No. 306054/2006-0 to CO) and São Paulo State Foundation (FAPESP Grant No. 2016/09204-6 to CO). Mariana Y. Deli Antoni and María C. Spath were supported by CONICET postdoctoral fellowships. Matías Delpiani was supported by an external CONICET CPA fellowship (12020160100004CO). Thanks to Dr. Mario La Mesa and anonymous reviewers who provided valuable suggestions for improving a previous version of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary file1 (PDF 94 kb)
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Supplementary file2 (PDF 20 kb)
300_2019_2540_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (94 kb)
Supplementary file3 (PDF 94 kb)
300_2019_2540_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (21 kb)
Supplementary file4 (PDF 21 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Grupo de Biotaxonomía Morfológica y Molecular de Peces (BIMOPE)Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC, CONICET-UNMdP)Mar del PlataArgentina
  2. 2.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Laboratorio de Vertebrados, Departamento de Biología, Bioquímica y FarmaciaUniversidad Nacional del SurBahía BlancaArgentina
  4. 4.Departamento de Morfologia, Instituto de BiociênciasUniversidade Estadual PaulistaBotucatuBrazil

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