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The systematics of the freshwater sculpins of British Columbia. McAllister, Don E.

Abstract

A systematic study was made of the genus Cottus, emphasizing the species of British Columbia. Some five thousand specimens from the Institute of Fisheries museum were used to construct distribution maps. Intensive examination before and after clearing and staining with alizarin or X-raying was made of 745 B.C. specimens and several exotic species. Color pattern, sex body proportions, prickles and the number of fin rays, lateral line pores, operculomandibular pores, caudal vertebrae, and preopercular spines were noted. Specific descriptions employing these characters were constructed. A new species found by Bailey is reported and described; philonips is synonomized with cognatus. Intraspecific variation in meristic characters showed modification with habitat, distance from the sea, altitude, latitude, populations and in some cases with sex. Interspecific comparisons revealed differences which were evaluated and made into a key of B.C. species. Supraspecific study showed the existence of three species groups having different counts of caudal vertebrae and other characteristics. A key is given to the species groups.

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