Distribution Pattern and Morphological Differences between the Sexes of River Blenny, Salaria fluviatilis (Asso, 1801), in the Ceyhan River Basin, Turkey


Abstract: The distribution of the river blenny (Salaria fluviatilis) in the Ceyhan River basin and the morphological differences between the sexes were investigated. Occurrence of the river blenny in the Ceyhan River basin depended on altitude of the habitats, and specimens were obtained at altitudes < 750 m. Samples were strongly female biased, which may have been due to the egg-guarding behavior of the males. There was also sexual dimorphism in that male blennies were larger than females (P < 0.05); however, there were no differences in the meristic counts between the sexes (P > 0.05). Analysis of variance showed that all of the standardized morphometric measurements were significantly different among the samples. In discriminant function analysis, morphological differentiation was determined between the sexes. Plotting discriminant function 1 to 2 separated the sexes from each other. Proportions of correctly classified individuals into their original groups were 71.9% for juveniles, 79.0% for females, and 65.7% for males. According to principal component analysis, the differences between the sexes resulted mainly from the measurements related to dorsal fin depth, head depth, body depth, and caudal peduncle depth.

Keywords: Ceyhan River, river blenny, Salaria fluviatilis, distribution, morphology

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