Within-population morphological differences in the New World silverside Odontesthes argentinensis inhabiting two coastal lagoons of Uruguay (southwestern Atlantic): supplementary material

Silversides are renowned for their phenotypic plasticity with different populations coexisting as incipient species. The New World silverside Odontesthes argentinensis is an estuarine-resident fish with known populations inhabiting the Rio de la Plata estuary as well as coastal lagoons of Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, where it constitutes an important resource for artisanal fisheries. Using classical morphometric analysis, we study six morphological variables to determine if there are differences between the New World silversides collected from two Uruguayan Atlantic coastal lagoons (Garzon and Rocha Lagoons), which communicate periodically with the ocean. In collaboration with artisanal fishermen, silversides were measured in fresh condition. After removing the size and allometric effect on the variables, Canonical Discriminant Analysis (DA) was applied to compare the morphometry of individuals collected in the two lagoons. Results supported the existence of two groups with values greater than 80% of accurate classification. The morphometric variables that contributed the most to this result were eye diameter, breadth of mouth, length from mouth tip to anal fin and length of pectoral fin. The first two morphometric variables are related to sensory perception and feeding, which could be indicators of an ecological segregation, conditioned by the characteristics of the environment, considering that the two coastal lagoons differ in their abiotic characteristics, most importantly in their hydrodynamic conditions. This work represents the first study of differences between two estuarine coastal lagoon populations of O. argentinensis.