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Superspecific Relationships Within the Genus Ctenopoma (Perciformes, Anabantoidei) a Morphometric Analysis and Preliminary Phylogeny

Norris, Steven Mark
Initially, this was a study on the comparative ethology of fishes of the genus Ctenopoma. Towards that end, aquaria were set up, a plethuora of support equipment and supplies laid in, living specimens obtained and observations begun, After a year and a half (though exhaustive efforts were made to make the specimens 'feel at home') the fishes would not engage in any vigorous behavior--and they certainly were not breeding. To add to this strain, the specimens obtained were not always easy to identify. All we really had to go on in the way of identification guides were the questionable names on photographs in aquarium hobbyist works. So, I undertook e tour of North American museums to examine specimens and learn to identify the species of Ctenopoma. In my naivete, I felt that this would be an easy enough task and perhaps, upon its completion, the l ive fishes would begin to cooperate. They did not, and the morphological work soon grew into a pre-revision of the African Anabantidae when it became obvious how little reliable systematic work had been done on these fishes. The systematic work soon took over and the project meandered steadily away from the live fishes (who remain relatively inactive) and the original design of the study. Eventually, I ended up in Europe, pouring over thousands of specimens in old world institutions. This thesis presents much of the morphological data that have been gathered and analysed over a period of almos t three years.