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Aoyama S.,KobeMunicipal Suma Aqualife Park | Satoh A.,KobeMunicipal Suma Aqualife Park | Kunisue A.,KobeMunicipal Suma Aqualife Park
Folia Zoologica | Year: 2011

Former studies demonstrated that the river loach species Lefua sp. and Lefua echigonia (Nemacheilidae) have thin white linear markings from the pectoral fin base to the ventral fin base on both right and left sides of the abdomen that can be used to identify individuals in laboratory and in the field. In the present study we demonstrate the existence of such markings and the uniqueness of their shape in reared individuals of a further six species of Nemacheilidae, but found them absent in three species of Balitoridae. Furthermore, the long-term stability of the shape of the markings was examined in reared individuals of the nemacheilid Barbatula toni over two years. The white line markings offer a non-invasive tool for the individual recognition of nemacheilid species, some of which are threatened with extinction.

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