Re: NANFA-- Help with Sunny ID

R. W. Wolff (
Mon, 5 Apr 2004 23:28:32 -0500

Both of these fish actually look quite similar to me. They seem to be
hybrids, both the same kind, but one being a bit smaller ( sunny) and the
more mature one ( lepomis sp) having more color in the body. The face and
ear are what looks similar, and often with juvenile sunfish this is where
the distictive colors and patterns show up first. I have to agree with
everyone that orange spot is definatly part of the -sunny-. I am leaning
towards a dollar orange spot hybrid. The strong orange blotch on the lateral
line of sunny, much like the less visible red orange line that follows the
lateral line of western forms of dollar sunfish. The blue green outlines of
the scales on lepomis sp pic, that looks like what happens when longears
hybridize with other sunfish. I would assume the same thing would happen
with dollar sunfish since they are similar looking.

The tricky thing with hybrids, these could be three part hybrids, a hybrid
parent spawning with one of the its orginal parent species, or even another
specie all together. F1 hybrids are usually pretty easy to discern, normally
having equal traits of both parents. F2's regardless of their parentage can
show all manners of traits, and its a real mess. F2 hybrids are normally
very rare, especially in the wild.

There is something though about lepomis sp picture that makes me lean
towards bluegill in the parentage. The large anal spines, this fish looks
nearly like a bluegill pumpkinseed hybrid which I am very familiar with, but
much more colorful. Also, the ear is wrong for this combination. Maybe that
one is a longear bluegill hybrid, or even a dollar bluegill hybrid.

That all of course can only happen if these were caught where these three
species live together.



Ray W.
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