Morphological Variability of the Spotted Lumpsucker Eumicrotremus pacificus (Cottoidei, Cyclopteridae)
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The variability of morphometric characteristics, the structure of the seismosensory system and the external skeleton in females and nonspawning and spawning males of the spotted lumpsucker Eumicrotremus pacificus were studied. Females differed from males in their greater anteanal distance and stability of the structure of the external skeleton throughout the adult period of life. Spawning males are characterized by a significant change in a number of plastic characters and the structure of their external skeleton, apparently related to the features of the spawning biology of the Eumicrotremus species. No noticeable variability was revealed in the structure of the axial skeleton, the skeleton of unpaired fins, and the seismosensory system of the head of E. pacificus. Using the characters of external morphology and the external skeleton of females and nonspawning males in the systematics of the lumpfishes was confirmed as valid.
Keywords:spotted lumpsucker Eumicrotremus pacificus sexual dimorphism morphological variability external skeleton seismosensory system
We are grateful to the staff of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, namely, A.V. Balushkin for discussing the results of the research and critical reading of the manuscript, A.O. Yurtseva for support when using the Statistica software and discussing the research results; we thank G.A. Volkova, senior museum curator, for her great help in working with the material. We are grateful to an unknown reviewer for valuable comments.
The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project no. 16-04-00456, and carried out as part of State Task no. AAAA-A17-117030310197-7.
COMPLIANCE WITH ETHICAL STANDARDS
Conflict of interests. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
Statement on the welfare of animals. This article does not contain any studies involving animals performed by any of the authors.
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