Phenetic relationships and diagnostic features of sculpins of the genus Cottocomephorus (Perciformes: Cottidae)
Keywords:Cottocomephorus, systematics, morphology, phenetic relationships, diagnostic features, Lake Baikal fauna
The author has studied phenetic and taxonomic relationships of the Baikal endemic sculpins of the genus Cottocomephorus Pellegrin 1900. For this purpose, the author has performed a morphometric investigation by five meristic and 29 plastic characters, as well as analysed the characteristics of colouring and the number of preopercular spines. The author has confirmed the validity of three species: C. grewingkii (Dybowski, 1874), C. inermis (Yakowlev, 1890) and C. comephoroides (Berg, 1901). The differentiation of the studied species is based on the number of gill rakers and preopercular spines, the width of the interorbital distance, height and width of the head, the length of the pectoral fins and the characteristics of the in-life colouration. Based on the revision of the diagnostic features, the author has suggested a new key to identify species.
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