Organisms Diversity & Evolution

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 497–508 | Cite as

Evolution and diversity of ram-suction feeding in damselfishes (Pomacentridae)

  • Damien Olivier
  • Laura Gajdzik
  • Eric Parmentier
  • Bruno Frédérich
Original Article

Abstract

The cerato-mandibular (c-md) ligament is a synapomorphy within Pomacentridae that creates a tight link between the lower jaws and the hyoid bars. However, this morphological trait has been secondarily lost in multiple lineages during evolution. A previous study revealed that the loss of this trait acted as a release of evolutionary constraints, leading to a cascade of morphological changes such elongated buccal jaws and a slender body. Ecomorphological interpretations suggested the loss of the c-md ligament has ultimately led to a new adaptive peak in zooplanktivory through an optimization of the ram feeding mode associated with a specialization in pelagic feeding. Here, we tested these hypotheses by comparing functional and diet diversity between damselfish species with and without the c-md ligament. Although species lacking the c-md ligament presented a conserved kinematic pattern resulting from high ram and low suction performances, our results did not support an optimization of the ram feeding mode. Indeed, some species with the c-md ligament showed the same or exceeded the ram performance of species without the c-md ligament. The species with the c-md ligament had a more diverse kinematic pattern exploring the entire ram-suction functional range in damselfishes. Finally, our results did not show any diet variations associated with the loss of the c-md ligament. Our study furthers the understanding of how a morphological trait has shaped, by its presence or absence, the ecomorpho-functional diversification of Pomacentridae.

Keywords

Cerato-mandibular ligament Evolutionary morphology Specialization Reef fishes Zooplanktivory 

Supplementary material

13127_2017_329_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (42 kb)
Online Resource 1Details on the measurement of the suction index created by Carroll et al. (2004). (PDF 42 kb)
13127_2017_329_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (76 kb)
Online Resource 2Table with the proportions of free-living and fixed prey in the stomach contents of 61 damselfishes species. (PDF 76 kb)
13127_2017_329_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (62 kb)
Online Resource 3Table with the proportions of calanoid copepods in the stomach contents of 19 zooplanktivorous damselfish species. (PDF 62 kb)

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Copyright information

© Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Damien Olivier
    • 1
  • Laura Gajdzik
    • 1
  • Eric Parmentier
    • 1
  • Bruno Frédérich
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Morphologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, AFFISH Research Center, Institut de Chimie (B6C)Université de LiegeLiegeBelgium

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