1. Ecology
  2. Evolutionary Biology
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The Natural History of Model Organisms: Advancing biology through a deeper understanding of zebrafish ecology and evolution

  1. David M Parichy  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Washington, United States
Feature Article
Cite this article as: eLife 2015;4:e05635 doi: 10.7554/eLife.05635
3 figures


Zebrafish and their geographic range.

(A) Historic and more recent sites where zebrafish have been reported in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and possibly Myanmar (Spence et al., 2006; Engeszer et al., 2007b; Spence et al., 2008; Whiteley et al., 2011; Arunachalam et al., 2013). (B) Zebrafish from several populations in northeastern India (Engeszer et al., 2007b). The upper two fish are males and the lower two fish are females; males tend to have a slightly yellow cast ventrally. (C) A group of zebrafish (a single fish is highlighted with the arrow) in a stream-side pool in Meghalaya, India, north of Bangladesh. Scale bar: 5 mm (B). Image credits: D Parichy.

Zebrafish habitat and co-occurring species.

(AF) Zebrafish are found in streams both pristine (A) and shared with people (B, D, E), in ephemeral pools at stream margins (F; a close-up of Figure 1C), and in man-made bodies of water (C). (GK) Many fish might compete with zebrafish at one or more of its life stages, including E. danricus (G), D. dangila (juvenile; H), Oryzias (I), Aplocheilus panchax (J), and P. shalynius (K). (LO) Among potential predators are Mastecembalus (L), Channa (M), Xenentodon (top) and Barilius (N), and Notopterus (O). For details see Engeszer et al. (2007b). Scale bars: 5 mm (GM); 5 cm (N, O). Image credits: D Parichy.

Zebrafish relatives and phylogeny.

(A) Examples of Danio pigment patterns, including spotted and striped morphs of D. kyathit. (B) Adult male of the miniaturized species Danionella dracula. (C) Larval D. tinwini (3 days post-fertilization), illustrating a typical Danio early larval pigment pattern. (D) Relationships within Danio (redrawn from: McCluskey and Postlethwait, 2015). (E) Relationships within Danioninae (simplified and redrawn from: Tang et al., 2010). Branch lengths in D and E are arbitrary. Scale bars: 5 mm (A, B); 0.5 mm (C). Image credits: D Parichy.


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