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Re: Hybrid sunnies

-----Original Message-----
From: R W Wolff <raywolff at juno_com>
To: nfc at actwin_com <nfc at actwin_com>
Date: Saturday, October 03, 1998 1:20 AM
Subject: Re: Hybrid sunnies

>Longears, or any lepomis for that matter, will hybridize....

Damned disrespectful of our species concept aren't they? I don't think we
should let them get away with it! Perhaps education is the key; if they knew
hybridization was wrong, perhaps they would do the right thing.

Actually, the scientific literature contains many examples of hybridization
in fishes. In a some (many?) cases this seems to happen in somewhat
disturbed situations such as when a damn separates some individuals from the
normal spawning grounds of their species and/or forces them into unusually
close quarters with a related species (I think some famous person said "If
you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with). In sunnies
and some minnows it seems to be a relatively normal byproduct of their
spawning behavior, but, as Ray Wolff said, the hybrids don't seem to persist
for many generations. Although I have not rechecked the literature on this
point, I would suspect that many of them are either sterile or have greatly
reduced fertility.