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Lack Of Hybridization Is Not Proof Of Distinct Species Taxa
May 15, 2011
1:25 pm
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Stefan
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There is something that never felt quite right, and reading about it explains why that is.

Most hobbyists say "These 2 fish are different species because they don't crossbreed", and that's just not true,* as referenced in Schindler (2001) (PDF available with me):

The evolutionary species concept (Ax 1984) states that when no hybridization attempts succeed, this is not conclusive for species status. Villwock (1964) and Rosen (1979) further argue that hybridization experiments can only be useful to put into persepctive relationships between populations, but never to distinguish between species.

*Because if what they say is true then 2 different, valid species that would crossbreed are the same species - which is just as absurd.

Two prime examples from my field of interest are Betta livida vs. B. coccina, Dario sp. Pyjama/Black Tiger vs. D. hysginon. Regarding the latter: They share their habitat and in Kullander & Britz (2002) the former species has been recorded and regarded as a variety.

I am not drawing conclusions regarding these two cases, but the above puts them in an entirely different perspective.

May 15, 2011
1:38 pm
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Matt
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Also happens in some co-occurent Aphanius species.

Speciation in progress?

Cake or death?
May 15, 2011
2:04 pm
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Stefan
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QUOTE (Matt @ May 15 2011, 03:21 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also happens in some co-occurent Aphanius species.

Speciation in progress?

They are in the Aphaiini family I'm sure. Villwock (1964) discusses that.

Yes, speciation in progress is the most likely answer, however population b of species 1 will not neccesarily become different (enough) from population a to become species 2.

May 15, 2011
6:29 pm
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Matt
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Also see discussion section of recent Puntius rubrotinctus paper for some interesting stuff about possible natural hybridisation between members of the P. filamentosus group in southern India.

Cake or death?
May 15, 2011
6:37 pm
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Stefan
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QUOTE (Matt @ May 15 2011, 08:12 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also see discussion section of recent Puntius rubrotinctus paper for some interesting stuff about possible natural hybridisation between members of the P. filamentosus group in southern India.

And tonight I have seen a scientific publication of the first record of natural hybridization between pikeperch and perch - can't remember where sadly.

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