Two populations of the Astyanax scabripinnis complex, isolated by a waterfall with over 100 meters depth and inhabiting different altitudes of the same river (1850 m a.s.l. and 662 m a.s.l.) were compared in reproductive data, geometric morphometry, tooth morphology, anal-fin rays counts, and karyotype, in order to test the hypothesis of speciation between the two populations. The results in the geometric morphometry analysis showed differences between the populations. Discriminant function analysis (DFA) and canonical variance analysis revealed sexual dimorphism. Secondary sexual characters, such as hooks in the anal fin rays of the males are absent in the lower altitude population. Both populations had the same macro karyotype structure, except for the absence of B chromosomes in the lower altitude population. The fluorescence in situ hybridization showed differences for both markers (18S rDNA and 5S rDNA), and reproductive data suggests pre-zygotic reproductive isolation among the two populations. The data showed the absence of gene flow, indicating that an incipient speciation process has occurred, which leads the two populations to follow independent evolutionary pathways.
Allopatric populations; Cytogenetics; Evolution; Geometric morphometry; Paraíba do Sul River