Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 49, Issue 5, pp 2323–2332 | Cite as

Geometric morphometrics for the analysis of character variation in size and shape of the sulcus acusticus of sagittae otolith in species of Gerreidae (Teleostei: Perciformes)

  • Jorge Guillermo Chollet-VillalpandoEmail author
  • Francisco Javier García-Rodríguez
  • Efraín De Luna
  • José De La Cruz-Agüero
Original Paper


Sagittal otoliths are a useful structure to distinguish teleostean fishes. However, character variation in size and shape of the sulcus acusticus has not been tested among Gerreidae Günther, 1862 species. For the first time, this paper explores the size and shape variation in the sulcus acusticus using landmark data and geometric morphometric methods. Variation in the sulcus acusticus size, as estimated with centroid size, is not a useful feature to distinguish neither the five genera nor all species in this study. However, since analyses of variance followed by Tukey a posteriori tests detect differences among groups of species, it is possible that the size of the sulcus acusticus will still be useful as a phylogenetic character. As expected, the pattern of variation in the shape of the sulcus acusticus consists of well-defined character states exclusive of each of the 18 species of Gerreidae included. All comparisons in multivariate analyses of variance of semi-landmark configurations with a CVA were statistically significant, and the rates for correct posterior classifications were all above 79%. Discriminant axes allowed to locate variation in particular regions of the sulcus acusticus outline that contribute most to the distinction among genera. Results revealed species in the same genus share a particular shape in the ostium and posterior extension of the cauda. Variation in the shape of the sulcus acusticus is, therefore, a very useful character to identify species in Gerreidae.


Character states Landmark data Morphological variation Silver biddies 



We thank many colleagues and technicians who encouraged and helped us, especially V. M. Cota-Gómez, J. A. Payán-Alcacio, G. De La Cruz-Agüero (Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, CICIMAR-CI), A. Angulo Sibaja, and A. R. Ramírez Coghi (Museo de Zoologia of the Universidad de San Jose Costa Rica). JGCV, FJGR, EDL, and JDA are fellows of the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores (SNI-CONACyT) of the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia. JDA and FJGR are fellows of the Comisión de Operación y Fomento de Actividades Académicas (COFAA-IPN) and Estímulo al Desempeño de los Investigadores (EDI-IPN) of the Instituto Politécnico Nacional. JDA, FJGR, and JGCV thank the Secretaría de Investigación y Posgrado, Instituto Politécnico Nacional for funding provided to the research projects for the collection of biological materials. All Gerreidae species in this study are edible fish and are not included in the IUCN red list as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, or near threatened species (listed as least concern). Finally, we thank the two anonymous reviewers for providing constructive criticisms on the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

No animal testing was performed during this study.

Sampling and field studies

All necessary permits for sampling and observational field studies have been obtained by the authors from the competent authorities and are mentioned in the acknowledgments, if applicable. The study is compliant with CBD and Nagoya protocols. The osteological material is cataloged in the ichthyological collection of the IPN-CICIMAR.

Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. A user and password will be sent to access files in the following URL:

Supplementary material

12526_2019_970_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (110 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 109 kb)


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Departamento de Pesquerías y Biología Marina, Colección IctiológicaLa PazMexico
  2. 2.Instituto de Ecología, A.C., Red de Biodiversidad y SistemáticaXalapaMexico

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