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African Hybrids a No-no?

Home Forums My Aquarium African Hybrids a No-no?

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    Long story short my LFS ended up having a little bit of an accident and cross bred a Daffodil Pulcher with a N. Brichardi.


    The fry look really cool though and I’ve been dying to start a colony of N. Brichardi or Pulcher.  (Trying to link a picture and failing terribly).  They are also selling them super cheap at $4.99 per fish at about an inch and a half. 


    However in my research online I find nothing but articles saying you should never raise a hybrid strain like this.  What is the logic behind this?  Is it just for the sake of species coloration and purity?  Or is there a greater threat here that I am missing?  Would getting one of these hybrids to breed with a 100% daffodil bring this particular line back into shape to an acceptable level?


    I know how to raise Tangs so I’m not worried with that.  Just want to be sure I’m not being an accidental jerk and doing something that could be harmful.


    Thanks for your time! 





    “Previously, it was believed that N. pulcher and N. brichardi were two distinct species. Now they are considered the same species, the only difference being that Neolamprologus brichardi has a black stripe running from its eye to its gill cover and a yellow spot just above it, both of which are absent in N. pulcher.” from: http://africanriftlakecichlids.blogspot.com/2010/11/brichardi-cichlids.html


    Based on:

    “Our study uses DNA sequences of the mitochondrial control region to show that relatedness of hapl-otypes disagrees with species assignment based on head colour pattern.”


    Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17881250

    full paper: http://behav.zoology.unibe.ch/sysuif/uploads/files/esh/pdf_online/taborskym/Duftner_MolPhylEvol2007.pdf


    If it is the same species, a color hybrid is not a species hybrid, imo. However, if you want to breed a pure line bred fish with just the genes for a black stripe running from its eye to its gill cover and a yellow spot just above it in the fish, that’s your choice I guess.



    They are a species complex.  Not the same the species.  Even the journal you linked basically comes to the same conclusion.  It says it right off the bat it is unlikely they come from a shared ancestry but rather evolved in parallel.


    Anyone else able to weigh in on this.





    Let me clarify on this just to get this point across.  Among the aquarium hobby I understand that many wish to lump the N.Pulcher and N.Brichardi together.  However — one study that itself advises caution on accepting their conclusion — does not a definitive result make.  My local biologists at UGA’s aquatic studies center have already out right told me that technically they fall under the category of a species complex.   I’m going to go with the guys who have multiple degrees in the field on this subject.  I care not for what it is currently trending.


    Sea gulls have gone through this exact debate literally since Darwin.


    MY question relates to the ethics behind hybridizing in the aquarium African fish who do not normally mix in the wild.  That is my area concern.



    Difficult topic…

    I would say hybridisation would be really a problem if the new hybrid would be able to escape and establish itself in nature. In the artificial setting that an aquarium really is, creating a hybrid seems less of a problem to me.

    One could argue that allowing the newly created hybrid to produce off-spring and allowing this off-spring to spread into the aquarium trade, somehow “spoils” the original species. But looking at how many ‘strains’ of selectively bred species are already available in the hobby, this argument does not hold anymore.

    Let’s hope there will always be some wild caught specimens available to overcome this problem and we should worry more about habitat protection than anything else.

    Btw, hybridisation is often used in aquaculture. Tilapia hybrids are used to get e.g. monosex populations (all males) avoiding the need to use hormones.



    If you’re just going to keep them for yourself and not release any back into the hobby, then no big deal, people hybridise plants and birds all the time to produce aesthetically-pleasing results, but I’d have to wonder if you wouldn’t be better getting some pure-bred fish through the ACA (or similar) then you’re removing any doubt. If you were to sell or otherwise pass on these fish in a way that they could end up with someone who wasn’t aware of their provenance, then that’d be a no-no for me.

    For me (others may differ as they are entitled to) the pleasure in keeping fish come in part from a bit of imagination that you’re keeping a living jewel produced by evolution, a little slice of the wild in a convenient glass box, but that’s also aesthetics, not ethics, and it’s all artifice when it comes down to it.

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