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Use of bioacoustics in species identification: Piranhas from genus Pygocentrus (Teleostei: Serrasalmidae) as a case study.


ABSTRACT: The genus Pygocentrus contains three valid piranha species (P. cariba, P. nattereri and P. piraya) that are allopatric in tropical and subtropical freshwater environments of South America. This study uses acoustic features to differentiate the three species. Sounds were recorded in P. cariba, two populations of P. nattereri (red- and yellow-bellied) and P. piraya; providing sound description for the first time in P. cariba and P. piraya. Calls of P. cariba were distinct from all the other studied populations. Red- and yellow-bellied P. nattereri calls were different from each other but yellow-bellied P. nattereri calls were similar to those of P. piraya. These observations can be explained by considering that the studied specimens of yellow-bellied P. nattereri have been wrongly identified and are actually a sub-population of P. piraya. Morphological examinations and recent fish field recordings in the Araguari River strongly support our hypothesis. This study shows for the first time that sounds can be used to discover identification errors in the teleost taxa.

SUBMITTER: Raick X 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7595327 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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