Several studies proved that fish scale shape is suitable for species identifcation, and for population level discrimination as well. There is lack of information about how the scale shape refer to the taxonomic position of a certain species. For this reason the scale shape of 10 fish species (roach Rutilus rutilus, chub Squalius cephalus, gibel carp Carassius gibelio, razorfish Pelecus cultratus, bleak Alburnus alburnus, carp Cyprinus carpio, topmouth gudgeon Pseudorasbora parva, perch Perca fluviatilis, pikeperch Sander lucioperca, rudd Scardinius erythrophthalmus), inhabiting the catchment of Lake Balaton was compared to their phylogenetic positions derived from COI sequences, available in GeneBank. At first landmark-based geometric morphometric analysis was performed on their scales’ shape. The Euclidean distance matrices derived from the scale shape data and COI sequences were compared using a Mantel test. The results show that the phylogenetic relations of the studied species corresponded well with the scale shapes. Detailed patterns might be explained by other factors, like body shape and size, life history traits of the certain species. This finding might be useful in case of unidentifyed scale samples for rough classification, for example in case of archaeological finds, or food composition analyses of piscivor species.
This project was supported by the “GINOP 2.3.2 -15-2016-00004: Establishing the sustainable angling-aimed management of Lake Balaton.”; and the “EFOP-3.6.3-VEKOP-16-2017-00008” projects. Árpád Ferincz and Ádám Staszny was supported by the Bolyai János Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.