We examined morphology of 4 sucker species (Catostomidae) from Klamath and Rogue River basins, Oregon and California. Different pairs of these species have been suspected of hybridizing, and field biologists have experienced difficulty identifying individuals in some areas. The suite of morphological characters used for initial identification was poorly supported by other morphometric characters but well supported by meristic characters, especially when analyses were restricted geographically. In some species sexual dimorphism was evident, with males having longer pectoral fins and females having longer pre-anal counts and measurements. Each species showed geographic differentiation, either between the Lost River subbasin and other Klamath subbasins or between Klamath and Rogue basins. Classification was most difficult for Catostomus snyderi, which was frequently misclassified as all other species, but especially as Chasmistes brevirostris. Despite this, the 2 species are ecologically segregated in the upper subbasins with lake-spawning Ch. brevirostris spatially segregated and river-spawning Ch. brevirostris temporally segregated from river-spawning C. snyderi. We discuss the possibility that a large-headed, thin-lipped species has become extinct in Upper Klamath Lake and alternatively suggest that the form could represent an ecophenotype of Ch. brevirostris that is no longer produced in hypereutrophic Upper Klamath Lake.
Markle, Douglas F.; Cavalluzzi, Martin R.; and Simon, David C.
"Morphology and taxonomy of Klamath Basin suckers (Catostomidae),"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 65
, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol65/iss4/6