Evolution of venom delivery structures in madtom catfishes (Siluriformes: Ictaluridae)

Jacob J.D. Egge, Andrew M Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The use of venom to subdue prey or deter predators has evolved multiple times in numerous animal lineages. Catfishes represent one of the most easily recognized, but least studied groups of venomous fishes. Venom glands surround spines on the dorsal and pectoral fins that serve as venom delivery structures. Species of madtom catfishes in the genus Noturus were found to each have one of four venom delivery morphologies: (1) smooth spine with no venom gland; (2) smooth spine with venom gland associated with shaft of spine; (3) serrated spine with venom gland associated with shaft of spine; and (4) serrated spine with venom gland associated with shaft of spine and posterior serrations. Analyses accounting for the phylogenetic history of Noturus species suggest that a serrated pectoral spine with a venom gland is the ancestral condition for the genus. The presence of serrations and a venom gland have been largely conserved among Noturus species, but sting morphology has changed at least five times within the genus. Four of these changes have resulted in a loss of morphological complexity, including the loss of posterior serrations, loss of venom glands associated with the posterior serrations, and one complete loss of the venom gland.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-129
Number of pages15
JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume102
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

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Ictaluridae
venom
Siluriformes
venoms
catfish
spine (bones)
shaft

Keywords

  • Ancestral state reconstruction
  • Bayesian
  • Complexity
  • Noturus
  • Spines

Cite this

Evolution of venom delivery structures in madtom catfishes (Siluriformes : Ictaluridae). / Egge, Jacob J.D.; Simons, Andrew M.

In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 102, No. 1, 01.01.2011, p. 115-129.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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