Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 89, Issue 2, pp 173–186 | Cite as

Comparative population genetics of Basilichthys microlepidotus (Atheriniformes: Atherinopsidae) and Trichomycterus areolatus (Siluriformes: Trichomycteridae) in north central Chile

  • Claudio Quezada-Romegialli
  • Mabel Fuentes
  • David VélizEmail author


To describe comparative population genetic structure of the Chilean silverside Basilichthys microlepidotus and the catfish Trichomycterus areolatus, four rivers and three sites within each river were investigated by the analysis of haplotype polymorphisms of the mitochondrial Control Region. For both species, analyses revealed significant differentiation among rivers and low differences within rivers. However, the species differ in haplotype composition; individuals of B. microlepidotus shared some haplotypes in all four rivers, while individuals of T. areolatus showed a different haplotype composition in most rivers. This difference may be explained by the different ecological features of the species. Assuming that both silversides and catfish were present before the separation of the rivers, B. microlepidotus migrated after river isolation, probably using coastal water, while T. areolatus has probably never migrated between these rivers. The long times that the studied rivers have been separated should be taken into account in future conservation plans for the freshwater fish of Chile.


Silverside Catfish Andes mountains Chilean rivers Control Region 



We are grateful to the editor and the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and corrections to the manuscript. Thanks to R. Gauci, P. Acuña and M.C. Sabando for field assistance, M. Espinoza for lab assistance and to L Eaton for reviewing English version of the manuscript. This work was supported by Fondecyt 11060496 to DV. DV thanks also Grant PFB-23 (CONICYT, Chile) and Grant ICM P05-002. CQR thanks Master CONICYT Grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudio Quezada-Romegialli
    • 1
  • Mabel Fuentes
    • 1
  • David Véliz
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Ciencias Ecológicas and Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile

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