Re: NANFA-L-- Smalmouth/Largemouth hybrid

dlmcneely at
Sun, 11 Sep 2005 11:37:25 -0500

Hybrid _Micropterus_ are relatively common in places where smallmouth
have been introduced to places where spotteds or other "smallmouth-
like" species occur. Smallmouth-Guadalupe bass hybridization is a
significant factor in decline of Guadalupe bass from its native habitat.

Smallmouth less commonly hybridize with largemouths where the two co-
occur, though it is not unheard of. The nesting biology of the two
species differs. Since both are produced in hatcheries, and since
hatcheries are unnatural environments, if the two got mixed up through
hatchery errors, hybridization there might be more likely. Also,
hatchery workers have been known to produce all kinds of things
for "kicks."

I doubt that a smallmouth-largemouth hybrid would be sterile.

It's also possible the fish was not a hybrid. It might have been a
spotted bass, this fish's pattern is intermediate between the
smallmouth and largemouth, its color is more like that of a largemouth,
and its morphometrics are closer to those of the smallmouth. But you
are well out of the fish's range.

David L. McNeely, Ph.D., Professor of Biology
Langston University; P.O. Box 1500
Langston, OK 73050; email: dlmcneely at
telephone: (405) 466-6025; fax: 405) 466-3307
home page

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