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Ecomorphological trends in the Artedidraconidae (Pisces: Perciformes: Notothenioidei) of the Weddell Sea


An ecomorphological study was performed on ten species of the family Artedidraconidae, the most benthic of the suborder Notothenioidei. These species are sympatric on the shelf of the Weddell Sea. The results show that the four genera comprising the family (Artedidraco, Dolloidraco, Histiodraco and Pogonophryne) can be differentiated by just a few morphometric features of their sensory organs and mouth. The genera were also clearly defined by the composition of their diet (benthic and epibenthic), the size of their prey, and their bathymetric distribution. Comparison of the morphological and ecological data shows a very close connection between sensory organs development, the mouth and bathymetric distribution. The morphological and ecological divergence observed can be explained as the result of the rapid adaptive radiation of the artedidraconids. The results confirm that characteristics of the sensory organs and alimentary structures are very suitable for the ecomorphological study of fishes.

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Antarctic Science
  • ISSN: 0954-1020
  • EISSN: 1365-2079
  • URL: /core/journals/antarctic-science
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