Distribution, biology and hybridization of Scaphirhynchus albus and S. platorynchus in the Missouri and Mississippi rivers

Abstract

Scaphirhynchus albus and S. platorynchus were studied in Missouri during 1978–1979 to assess their distribution and abundance, to obtain information on their life histories, and to identify existing or potential threats to their survival. S. platorynchus was collected in substantial numbers (4355 specimens) at all 12 sampling stations in the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, while only 11 S. albus were captured from 6 stations. Twelve specimens identified in the field as hybrids between the two species were captured from 4 stations. Morphometric and meristic comparisons of presumed hybrids with the parent species, using cluster and principal components analyses, demonstrated intermediacy of most specimens identified in the field as hybrids. Aquatic insects comprised most of the diet of S. platorynchus and S. albus, but S. albus and the hybrids had consumed considerable quantities of fish. S. albus grew more rapidly than S. platorynchus, while the growth of hybrids was intermediate. Hybridization appears to be a recent phenomenon, resulting from man-caused changes in the big-river environment. Hybridization may be a threat to survival of S. albus in the study streams.

DOI: 10.1007/BF00001576

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Cite this paper

@article{Carlson2004DistributionBA, title={Distribution, biology and hybridization of Scaphirhynchus albus and S. platorynchus in the Missouri and Mississippi rivers}, author={Douglas M. Carlson and William L. Pflieger and Linden Trial and Pamela S. Haverland}, journal={Environmental Biology of Fishes}, year={2004}, volume={14}, pages={51-59} }