Turkish Journal of Zoology




To better determine the ecological variation (body shape and structure) of the Vieja Azul (Andinoacara rivulatus; syn.: Aequidens rivulatus) in northwest Ecuador (Los Ríos Province), 300 specimens of both sexes (150 male and 150 female) were collected from 3 different locations, one from a wild production system and two from fish farm populations in the Quevedo River. Twelve meristic, 26 traditional morphometric, and 32 truss measurements, among 25 anatomical landmarks, were determined. The body weight (BW), total length (TL), eye diameter (ED), dorsal fin ray length (DFRL), and body perimeter 3 (P3) showed significant differences (P < 0.05) between production systems, and sex had significant influence on preanal length (Pre-AL), P3, and body width 2 (LC2). Females showed higher mean values than males in all measurements, except for BW. The Fulton factor differed for both factors considered. The canonical discriminant analysis revealed a percentage of correct assignment of 64.42% for the dataset, 85% and 60.9% for cultured and wild females, and 62.1% and 56.3% for wild and cultured males, respectively, as well as morphometric variation between groups. Results could be attributed to environmental conditions (habitat, temperature, and food). The Mahalanobis test showed greater distances among females than among males. In conclusion, this study provides valuable morphological information on the shape and structure of Andinoacara rivulatus that can be used to characterize and quantify the changes that occur as a consequence of adaptation to a different habitat. The authors hope that the information obtained from the present study will be helpful for fisheries, biologists, and taxonomists.

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