Intraspecific morphological variation between cultured and wild Clarias gariepinus (Burchell) (Clariidae, Siluriformes)
Shola G. Solomon, Victor T. Okomoda, Abel I. Ogbenyikwu
ABSTRACT. This study was designed to evaluate morphological differences between cultured and wild African catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell). Fish samples were collected from the lower Benue River (axis in Makurdi), while cultured fish were obtained from the University of Agriculture Makurdi research farm. The results revealed significant sex-related variation in the fish from different environments. Significant differences were observed in all morphometric parameters measured and in three of the five meristic counts recorded. Discriminant analysis and cluster analysis of morphometric parameters showed a high divergence among the populations, hence the tested fish samples were grouped into respective environments by sex. The meristic count, however, overlapped broadly showing no divergence among the populations. The morphometric differences between the cultured and wild African catfish could have been linked to genetic differences or environmental factors or a combination of both factors.
Keywords: African catfish, Benue River, morphometric parameters, meristic count