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Ichthyological Research

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 340–345 | Cite as

Landmark-based morphometric analysis of the body shape of two sympatric species, Ctenopharynx pictus and Otopharynx sp. “heterodon nankhumba” (Teleostei: Cichlidae), from Lake Malawi

  • Daud D. Kassam
  • Tetsu Sato
  • Kosaku Yamaoka
Article

Abstract

 Morphological differences in body shape of two sympatric benthophagous cichlid species from Lake Malawi, Ctenopharynx pictus and an undescribed species, Otopharynx sp. “heterodon nankhumba,” were investigated using geometric morphometric methods. From digitized data of landmark points on lateral profiles of fishes, the shape of each species was compared by the thin-plate spline method. Statistical analyses revealed significant variation in both uniform and nonuniform components of shape between the two species. From the splines generated, it was revealed that most of the significant variation between the two species occurs in the head region. Specifically, C. pictus has a longer and deeper head than Otopharynx sp. In addition, the mouth of C. pictus is larger than that of Otopharynx sp. In the trunk region, C. pictus has a shorter abdominal cavity, which may indicate possession of shorter intestines than Otopharynx sp. The variation in gross head morphology and intestinal length may reflect interspecific differences in trophic ecology, possibly facilitating the coexistence of the two species through resource partitioning.

Key words Geometric morphometric Sympatric species Ctenopharynx pictus Otopharynx sp. “heterodon nankhumba” Trophic specialization 

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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daud D. Kassam
    • 1
  • Tetsu Sato
    • 2
  • Kosaku Yamaoka
    • 1
  1. 1. Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology, United Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Ehime University, B 200 Monobe, Nankoku, Kochi 783-8502, Japan (e-mail: DDK, kassam@cc.kochi-u.ac.jp)JP
  2. 2. WWF Japan, Nihonseimei Akabanebashi Building, 6 Fl., 3-1-14 Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0014, JapanJP

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