Species delimitation based on integrative approach suggests reallocation of genus in Hypostomini catfish (Siluriformes, Loricariidae)

  • Marcia S. Anjos
  • Jamille A. Bitencourt
  • Lorena A. Nunes
  • Luisa M. Sarmento-Soares
  • Daniel C. Carvalho
  • Jonathan W. Armbruster
  • Paulo R. A. M. AffonsoEmail author
Primary Research Paper


Integrative approaches are particularly useful to resolve taxonomic uncertainties in species-rich groups that have undergone explosive radiation, such as Hypostomini (suckermouth armored catfishes). This tribe encompasses the genera Hypostomus and Pterygoplichthys, but the actual number of species in each genus and the intergeneric interrelationships are confusing or unknown for some ecoregions in the Neotropics. Here, we analyzed three endemic species Hypostomus chrysostiktos, H. jaguar and H. unae from Northeastern Mata Atlântica in northeastern Brazil based on meristic characters, geometric morphometrics, chromosomal data, DNA barcode and species delimitation algorithms. The current taxonomic status of these catfishes is challenged. While H. unae and H. jaguar revealed a close evolutionary relationship similar to those observed within Hypostomus from other basins, H. chrysostiktos was herein more closely related to Pterygoplichthys, being invariably recovered as a highly distinctive taxonomic unit than to Hypostomus. Therefore, we recommend the reallocation of H. chrysostiktos as Pterygoplichthys chrysostiktos and a thorough systematic review of Pterygoplichthys, particularly focusing on putative convergence traits in relation to Hypostomus.


Cytogenetics DNA barcode Geometric morphometrics Hypostomus Pterygoplichthys 



The financial support to this work was provided by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado da Bahia (FAPESB) (Grant RED0009/2013). The license to collect the specimens (Number 26752-3) was obtained from the Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade/Sistema de Autorização e Informação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio/SISBIO). The euthanasia and experiments were approved by the Ethic Committee of Utilization of Animals from Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia (CEUA/UESB, Number 32/2013). The authors would also like to thank the field assistants, particularly the fishermen from Iaçu-BA.

Supplementary material

10750_2019_4121_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (159 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 158 kb) Supplementary_1: Morphometric and meristic data for Hypostomus chrysostiktos, H. jaguar, and H. unae. SD standard deviation
10750_2019_4121_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (200 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 200 kb) Supplementary_2: Anatomic landmarks inserted in each view for the morphometric analyses of Hypostomus spp. and photographs of Hypostomus from coastal basins along Northeastern Mata Atlântica (NMA) ecoregion, indicating the anatomic landmarks used in morphometric analyses. a Dorsal view, b left side view, and c ventral view
10750_2019_4121_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (189 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 188 kb) Supplementary_3: Information of COI sequences used in the present study, including access numbers, species description and references
10750_2019_4121_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (222 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (PDF 221 kb) Supplementary_4: Photographs and morphological comparison between Hypostomus chrysostiktos, H. jaguar, H. unae and Pterygoplichthys etentaculatus
10750_2019_4121_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (325 kb)
Supplementary material 5 (PDF 325 kb) Supplementary_5: Maximum likelihood tree, showing bootstrap values above 60%
10750_2019_4121_MOESM6_ESM.pdf (162 kb)
Supplementary material 6 (PDF 161 kb) Supplementary_6: Intraspecific genetic distance (D) of COI sequences based on K2P distance of analyzed species and number and position of diagnostic molecular sites in each species
10750_2019_4121_MOESM7_ESM.pdf (180 kb)
Supplementary material 7 (PDF 180 kb) Supplementary_7: Interspecific genetic distance (D) of COI sequences based on K2P distance of analyzed species, without outgroups. This matrix was used to generate the heatmap
10750_2019_4121_MOESM8_ESM.pdf (121 kb)
Supplementary material 8 (PDF 121 kb) Supplementary_8: Cytogenetic data in morphotypes and species of Hypostomus from coastal basins in NMA and putatively related taxa, including Pterygoplichthys


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade Federal da BahiaSalvadorBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Estadual do Sudoeste da BahiaJequiéBrazil
  3. 3.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia Animal-Universidade Federal do Espírito SantoVitóriaBrazil
  4. 4.Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  5. 5.Department of Biological SciencesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

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