Relief structure of scales in Coregonid fishes from Lake Baikal: differences between morpho-ecological groups of omul (Coregonus migratorius Georgy) and Siberian whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus pidschian Gmelin)
Tyagun, Marina L.
We compared morphology of the relief structure of scales between two coregonid fishes from Lake Baikal: the Siberian whitefish Coregonus lavaretus pidschian Gmelin and morpho-ecological groups of omul Coregonus migratorius Georgi. We propose that differences in the dimensions of the scale surface relief structure resulted from ecological adaptations among these fishes. In the whitefish inhabiting the dynamic estuaries and coastal aquatic environment, the relief structure of scales was massive and reinforced with large sclerites. In contrast, omul scales had a less developed relief layer due to the preference of this species for pelagic areas with relatively weak hydrodynamics. Further, we provide evidence for the use of distances between neighbouring sclerites as a morphological tool for identification of species/subspecies of Baikal Coregonid fishes.