Morphological variation of Alburnus mossulensis (Heckel, 1843) populations in Iran were investigated by collection of 705 specimens from 27 rivers of five basins, including Bushehr, Fars, Karkheh, Karun and tributaries of Tigris (Diyala) basin in Iran in 2010 by a seine net. The specimens were fixed in 10% formalin for further investigation after anesthetizing in 1% clove oil solution. Twenty-two morphometric and 11 meristic characters were examined. Morphometric characters in adjusted form and meristic characters in classified form were used for population comparison. Analysis of morphometric and meristic characters by ANOVA showed significant differences (p<0.05) in all basins for all characters except the number of dorsal and anal fin spines. Classification of meristic characters showed most specimens of all basins have eight soft rays in dorsal fin, 12 soft rays in anal fin, 19 soft rays in caudal fin, 15 soft rays in pectoral fin and nine soft rays in pelvic fin. Discriminant function analysis showed that populations from Fars and Karun Basins were different from each other and from other populations, on the other hand, populations from Diyala, Karkheh and Bushehr basins overlapped. This result may indicate that there are similar conditions in Diyala, Karkheh and Bushehr basins, resulting in more similarity amongst the populations of these basins.
morphology, Alburnus mossulensis, morphometric, meristic
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