Integrated Cytogenetic and Mitochondrial DNA Analyses Indicate That Two Different Phenotypes of Hypancistrus (L066 and L333) Belong to the Same Species

Zebrafish. 2016 Jun;13(3):209-16. doi: 10.1089/zeb.2015.1213. Epub 2016 Mar 16.


The diversity of Hypancistrus species in the Xingu River is remarkable and the variation in color morphs represents a real challenge to taxonomists to delimit species boundaries. One of the most recognizable Hypancistrus complexes is the worm-lined species, known in the aquarium trade as King Tiger Plec in English, Hypancistrus "pão" in Portuguese or under the L-numbers L066 and L333 that represent two melanic pigment pattern phenotypes. To assess the identity of these two phenotypes, we described their karyotypes and sequenced part of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene (DNA barcode). These fishes have 52 chromosomes (40 meta-submetacentric and 12 subtelo-acrocentric) and a strong heteromorphism in chromosome pair 21 was observed, which does not correlate with the two phenotypes or sex. DNA barcodes separated the samples analyzed from Hypancistrus zebra and other publicly available sequences of Loricariidae showing no divergence between the two phenotypes. The data set indicates that worm-lined Hypancistrus from the Xingu form a single species with clear chromosomal and melanic pigment pattern polymorphisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catfishes / genetics*
  • DNA Barcoding, Taxonomic
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / genetics
  • Pigmentation
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Species Specificity


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Electron Transport Complex IV