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Analysis of type material and selection of informative characters for a morphological phylogenetic reconstruction of the species of Crenicichla Heckel and Teleocichla Kullander (Teleostei: Cichlidae)

Grant number: 13/17056-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2014
Effective date (End): June 30, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Naercio Aquino Menezes
Grantee:Henrique Rosa Varella
Supervisor: Sven Oscar Kullander
Host Institution: Museu de Zoologia (MZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden  
Associated to the scholarship:11/14630-0 - Phylogenetic relationships of the species of Crenicichla and Teleocichla (Teleostei: Cichlidae), BP.DR


Crenicichla is the most speciose genus within South American cichlids, with 86 valid species distributed in almost all major river basins in cis-Andean South America, and Teleocichla is composed of eight Amazonian species. A group comprising the species of Crenicichla and Teleocichla was hypothesized as monophyletic by several phylogenetic analyses using morphological and molecular data. However, the phyletic position of this group within Cichlidae is controversial, so are the relationships among the included species. The aim of the doctoral project, in which this BEPE project is inserted, is to provide an inclusive and comprehensive cladistic analysis of the species of Crenicichla and Teleocichla using morphological characters, mapping monophyletic species-groups within that clade and improving the knowledge about the relationships among the included species. Then, a classification for the species based on monophyletic groups shall be proposed, and taxonomic revisions may be done in a more appropriate way. In any phylogenetic study, the correct identification of the terminal taxa included (i.e. species of Crenicichla and Teleocichla, and outgroup species) is indispensable to avoid erroneous discussions as well as to the selection of informative characters. One of the goals to be pursued in the present fellowship project is to analyze cichlids type specimens, especially the types of many species of Crenicichla and Teleocichla that are deposited in European museums. The analysis of type material allows preventing misidentifications of the terminal taxa, and provides data for eventual taxonomic and nomenclatural decisions after the phylogeny. Secondarily, I will also search for some specimens of few Crenicichla species which still without any available material. The second goal of the fellowship project is to review and discuss with Dr. Sven Kullander of the Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM) the morphological characters I have surveyed in order to select informative characters to be used during the phylogenetic analysis and qualifying the discussion about their polarization and other interesting aspects. Finally, the fellowship will provide a great opportunity to take advantage of his enormous experience to get more robust morphological data to better understand the evolutionary history of Crenicichla and Teleocichla, and also to develop personally some of the studies we have started earlier. (AU)

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Scientific publications (4)
(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)
VARELLA, H. R.; ZUANON, J.; KULLANDER, S. O.; LOPEZ-FERNANDEZ, H.. Teleocichla preta, a new species of cichlid from the Rio Xingu Basin in Brazil (Teleostei: Cichlidae). Journal of Fish Biology, v. 89, n. 3, p. 1551-1569, . (11/06609-1, 13/17056-9, 11/14630-0, 11/50282-7)
VARELLA, HENRIQUE R.; KULLANDER, SVEN O.; MENEZES, NAERCIO A.; OLIVEIRA, CLAUDIO; LOPEZ-FERNANDEZ, HERNAN. Revision of the generic classification of pike cichlids using an integrative phylogenetic approach (Cichlidae: tribe Geophagini: subtribe Crenicichlina). ZOOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY, v. 198, n. 4, p. 53-pg., . (18/24086-5, 13/17056-9, 15/21901-1, 18/20610-1)

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