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Electric fishes of the genus Sternarchorhynchus, a case of adaptative irradiation in continental scale? A phylogenomic and morphological approach

Grant number: 18/23883-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2019
Effective date (End): March 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal researcher:Naercio Aquino Menezes
Grantee:Luz Eneida Ochoa Orrego
Home Institution: Museu de Zoologia (MZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/19075-9 - Diversity and evolution of Gymnotiformes (Teleostei, Ostariophysi), AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):19/25992-2 - Testing adaptive radiation hypotheses in South American electric fishes: A phylogenomic approach, BE.EP.PD


Sternarchorhynchus is an electric fish genus including 32 valid species with some more to be described. Species of this genus inhabit the canals of the rivers, streams, rapids and waterfalls in the Amazon and Orinoco basins, as well as, smaller rivers in Guianas. Morphologically the genus is characterized by an extreme modification in the anatomical complexes of the anterior portion of the head which confer a unique mode of feeding suction aided by mechanical clamping or "grasp-suction". Morphological studies have suggested that this feeding mode represents an evolutionary novelty, and this could be the factor for triggering adaptive radiation in most inclusive clades of the genus. Considering the premise that pattern of adaptive radiation can be detected by comparative phylogenetic analysis, the present proposal aims to reconstruct the evolutionary history of Sternarchorhynchus species based on the concatenation of the data of two complementary methods of new generation sequencing: Exons Capture (approximately 777 nuclear locus and 228,000 nucleotides for Gymnotiformes) and RADseq (Restriction site Associated DNA sequences) coupled with 86 anatomical characters to test the monophyly and to robustly determine the relationships of the valid species of Sternarchorhynchus. These results together with the 3D reconstruction of the head of the Sternarchorhynchus species, will be used to test whether the patterns of genetic and phenotypic diversification in the genus are congruent with the hypothesis of adaptive radiation on a continental scale.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MATEUSSI, NADAYCA T. B.; MELO, BRUNO F.; OTA, RAFAELA P.; ROXO, FABIO F.; OCHOA, LUZ E.; FORESTI, FAUSTO; OLIVEIRA, CLAUDIO. Phylogenomics of the Neotropical fish family Serrasalmidae with a novel intrafamilial classification (Teleostei: Characiformes). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, v. 153, DEC 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
SOUZA, CAMILA S.; SILVA, GABRIEL S. C.; OCHOA, LUZ E.; ROXO, FABIO F.; COSTA-SILVA, GUILHERME J.; FORESTI, FAUSTO; MELO, BRUNO F.; OLIVEIRA, CLAUDIO. Molecular and morphological diversity in species of Kronichthys (Teleostei, Loricariidae) from Atlantic coastal rivers of Brazil. Journal of Fish Biology, DEC 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
LUZ E. OCHOA; BRUNO F. MELO; JORGE E. GARCÍA-MELO; JAVIER A. MALDONADO-OCAMPO; CAMILA S. SOUZA; JUAN G. ALBORNOZ-GARZÓN; CRISTHIAN C. CONDE-SALDAÑA; FRANCISCO VILLA-NAVARRO; ARMANDO ORTEGA-LARA; CLAUDIO OLIVEIRA. Species delimitation reveals an underestimated diversity of Andean catfishes of the family Astroblepidae (Teleostei: Siluriformes). Neotropical Ichthyology, v. 18, n. 4, p. -, 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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