Morphometry of non-native black bullhead Ameiurus melas from Slovakia
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The study on the external morphology of the non-native black bullhead (Ameiurus melas) was carried out on a population from Slovakia, based on triple regression and geometrical analysis. The breakpoints distribution in distance-based morphometric characters indicated that black bullhead reached its definitive phenotype early in ontogeny. Ontogenetic changes in external morphology occurred continuously throughout the whole size-range of the sample examined, and inter-individual morphological variation was very low. Such uniformity may reflect the possible founder effect and/or little phenotypic plasticity of this non-native population. No sexual dimorphism was observed. This is the first detailed study on external morphology of the species, and as such it contributes to the assessment of phenotypic plasticity and/or overall morphological variability of black bullhead’s invasive populations.
KeywordsAmeiurus melas External morphology Growth changes Biological invasions
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