Morphological variation among populations of Aphanius fasciatus Nardo, 1827 (Teleostei, Cyprinodontidae) from the Mediterranean
The amount of osteological variation among 11 Italian killifish Aphanius fasciatus populations was examined by the univariate and multivariate analysis of 40 morphometric and meristic variables of the skull and vertebral column. Populations were sampled in three geographically distinct areas (the Adriatic, Sardinia and Sicily). The statistical analysis confirmed that several populations were well differentiated. In particular, discriminant analysis revealed a strong discriminating power of the morphometric variables. Morphometrics of the vertebrae, bony elements of the pharyngeal jaws, supraoccipital and parasphenoid were the most important in discriminating populations. The dendrogram obtained by UPGMA cluster analysis shows the separation of the south-eastern Sicilian populations, that of the Sardinian populations and that of the central-northern Sicilian plus Adriatic populations, as well as the isolation of the Sicilian population from Pantano Viruca and of the Sardinian populations from Pauli Figu from all the others. The significance of the observed differentiation pattern is discussed.