Re: NANFA-- American Currents

R. W. Wolff (
Sat, 26 Aug 2000 21:15:29 -0700

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
> The new issue of American Currents is pretty cool.I got it a few days
> really liked the fact that it featured a more obscure species like the mud
> sunfish which I hadn't previously read very much about. Especially since I
> like sunfishes!

I agree. American Currents, no matter what you think of the issue at hand,
or those in the past, is truly unique. I think it should always be
applauded, even if the selection of articles does not interest you this
issue ( gernerically speaking, which ever issue might be being discussed) ,
as someone is surly learning and devouring the information at hand. Mud
sunfish are intereting for all the reasons mentioned in the article, and
then some.

> The part about the reclassification of Olympic mudminnows as pikes was
> surprising. I don't know if I could agree with that right now. I admit
that I
> am no expert at it, that the guys who did it know more about the
> relationships of different fish species to each other than I do, and the
> that DNA analysis of the species seems like very compelling evidence, but
> what I'm wondering is, how accurate is our current DNA analysis techniques
> fish species? How much probability is there for error in this matter?

I wonder the same thing, I could easily see lumping them all together, or
splitting them by the larger esox, the pickerals, the umbra, the novumbra
and the dallia. Either extreme may not serve a purpose. The main thing that
got me thinking is esox do not use atmospheric oxygen like the other 5
speices do. Other than that adaptation I see little real difference in
these species other than size, and body shape/ finnage ,which certainly has
something to do with the species max. size.

> My main point of contention is that Olympic mudminnows do not appear to
have the
> "duckbill" jaws that members of the pike family have, and are close to the
> same size as central and eastern mudminnows.

If take a close look at grass and redfin pickeral, you will see that their
snout is quite stubby compared to the larger esox, although more elongate
than the mudminnows.

> I'm not against reclassifying organisms as long as it
> more accurately reflects the true relationships that different organisms
> to each other, but I will question those reclassifications if I don't see
> reasoning behind it.

I agree. I think that DNA gives us a window into the workings of the fish,
and let us see things that arent apparent on the physical scale. Bass are
sunfish, but their fins and mouth shapes are much different ( but still
similar, as pikes are to mudminnows), putting them in a different genus, but
not another family. This will probably always be a confusing discussion.


/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,