Osteological plasticity of Garra rufa populations in Iranian inland waters (Teleostei: Cyprinidae)



Osteological plasticity of Garra rufa (Heckel, 1843) populations inhabiting 29 rivers in four basins were described and compared. The skeletal elements of G. rufa specimens were stained, cleared and photographed. Studied populations have 12 differences in the head skeleton, four in jaw elements, three in suspensorium, two in opercular series, two in circumorbital series, four in hyoid arches, one in the branchial apparatus, three in Weberian apparatus, three in dorsal fin skeleton, one in anal fin skeleton, one in pectoral fin girdle, three in ventral fin skeleton and two in caudal fin skeleton. These differences could be results of evolutionary adaptations to new habitat conditions and can be used in comparative and phylogenetic studies.


Cyprinidae, Osteology, Plasticity, Fish skeleton.

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