Research Article

Morphometric and Meristic Characters of Two Cichlids, Coptodon zillii and Oreochromis aureus Collected from Shatt al-Arab River, Basrah, Iraq  

Laith A. Jawad1 , Fawziah Sh. Habbeb2 , Mustafa A. Al-Mukhtar2
1 Flat Bush, Manukau, Auckland 2016, New Zealand
2 Department of marine vertebrates, Marine Science Centre, University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2018, Vol. 8, No. 2   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2018.08.0002
Received: 04 Dec., 2017    Accepted: 25 Dec., 2017    Published: 05 Jan., 2018
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Jawad L.A., Habbeb F.S., and Al-Mukhtar M.A., 2018, Morphometric and meristic characters of two cichlids, Coptodon zillii and Oreochromis aureus collected from Shatt al-Arab River, Basrah, Iraq, International Journal of Marine Science, 8(2): 12-25 (doi: 10.5376/ijms.2018.08.0002)


Thirteen morphometric and seven meristic characters of the cichlids species Coptodon zillii and Oreochromis aureus were studied from three localities, Qurna, Hartha, Abu Al-Khaseeb, on Shatt al-Arab River, Basrah, Iraq. Samples revealed no significant differences between genders. Values of morphometric and meristic traits increase from the southern to northern reaches of the river. Based on cluster analysis and PCA, the Shatt al-Arab River samples of the two species C. zillii and O. aureus were clearly separated into two distinct groups. Group I, Qurna and Hartha, represents the northern and middle regions of the river and GII represents the southern region, Abu-Al-Khaseeb. Possible reasons for such differentiation among populations are discussed, and the integration of research on these species among the countries neighboring Iraq is required. This study gives information to fishery biologists about morphometric characters of C. zillii and O. aureus from Shatt al-Arab River to assist in planning of conservation strategies for these fish species.

Population structure; Morphometrics; Meristic; Cichlidae; Qurna; Hartha; Abu Al-Khaseeb
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International Journal of Marine Science
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