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NFC: Re: breeding question


I've not bred orangethroat darters.  One of my grad school committee members
conducted a revision of the spectabile complex that was published in, I
think, '99 or so.  This doesn't even touch at your quest, but I had a
thought in reading the query.  The splitting of this spp complex, as most,
was based on biogeography, genetics, and meristics.  However, not all of the
eight or so (as I remember) spp that were culled from this "complex" had
obvious character differences when seen in the field.  I've always wondered
how a study of breeding two closely related "split" spp. would turn out.
Not sure if you have time or even care, but consider taking some of the
stock you were given, and attempting to breed with a geographically near
distributed "sister" spp, or for that matter, try a more thorough look, by
breeding of your stock with a more geographically isolated spp from the
complex.  This might provide understanding on the geographic dist and
relationships of the various spp.  As my professor always said, large
streams and rivers are as much of a barrier to the passage of these spp than
is dry land.  Not to doubt his expertise and countless hours of counting
characteristics only observed under a cpd scope, as well as looking at
genetic differences, but these type splitting projects always sparked my
interest at determining whether the resultant spp were actually genetically
"different" or "isolated" enough to be called separate spp.  Not to suggest
you embark on a lifelong thesis, but such collectors as yourself could
provide some very interesting findings for the scientific community when it
comes to these matters, for the fun of it.  You'll be breeding them, anyway,
so the only effort would be to keep the stocks separate (I guess that's
harder than it sounds).  Anyway, just a very long thought to chew on.  If at
all interested, and would like to know a little about the geo. dist. of
these resultant spp, or even to know where your stock came from, and what it
may be currently known as, commonly and scientifically, I could dig out the
paper or track down my old prof.  Anyway, my 2cents is only worth that to