Meeting Abstract

P1.112  Wednesday, Jan. 4  Convergence in pharyngeal jaw morphology in Heroine cichlids CLEMMENSEN, S.F.*; HULSEY, C.D.; University of Tennessee, Knoxville; University of Tennessee, Knoxville sclemmen@utk.edu

Trophic divergence in cichlids is linked to shifts in pharyngeal jaw morphology. In Heroine (Central American) cichlids, the ability to consume a novel prey type – mollusks – is a convergent phenotype with multiple evolutionary origins. We predict that the shift to hard-shelled prey causes similar shifts in tooth morphology in the pharyngeal jaw across taxa. Using CT scans of the lower pharyngeal jaw, tooth number, tooth size, and the size of visible replacement teeth were compared to evaluate the similarity among independently molluskivorous/molariform (M) cichlid species and compared against closely related non-molluskivorous/papilliform (P) species. We also compared M and P morphologies of the polymorphic species Herichthys minckleyi using both wild-caught and pond-raised individuals, to examine the degree of phenotypic plasticity that may be operating in these systems.