NANFA-- Flagfin-Bluehead hybrid fry
Sun, 15 Feb 2004 14:59:58 EST

In September, I received 4 female Bluehead Shiners, Pteronotropis hubbsi,
from another hobbyist. Since all the Blueheads were females, and males are
impossible to get in the fall and winter, I looked to hybridize the fish. I got
Flagfin Shiners from two other hobbyists.

The fish were in the garage from October to mid December. It got so cold
that some Flagfins were on the bottom upside-down. Then the fish were put in a
55-gallon tank in the basement. After messing with adding rainwater with no
success, I took time to sex the Flagfins. One Flagfin had a swimbladder problem
so I sacrificed it - no eggs. Another large Flagfin did have eggs. The fish
with oval shaped bodies are females. The more diamond shaped bodies are

In the 55 are 1 male Flagfin, 1 male Flagfin in a breeder net, and 4 female
Blueheads. The tank has my plastic grid plastic plants, a garbage bag plant, a
pile of round rocks, spanish moss, a mound of quartz pool filter gravel, and
yarn mops on the bottom; a sunken powerhead provides some current; one sponge
filter; a shop light set for 15 hours per day; and a heater set at 74F.

Before 1/25/2004 I had 4 Flagfins and 4 Blueheads in the tank; after 1/25
only 1 Flagfin was free with the 4 Blueheads.

On 2/11 I collected some eggs and fry by gravel cleaning and siphoning the
bottom. The next day, most were still in the wall sticking stage. Assuming 2
to 4 days to hatch, and 2 days sticking on the walls, and 2 days free swimming,
any Flagfins that spawned on 1/25 would have been caught in 3 earlier
attempts to collect eggs.

Unless there is no difference in appearance between year-old, good-sized
Blueheads, these fry are hybrids. It will be interesting to see what the fish
look like as adults, especially in the next generation if the hybrids are
fertile. I hope my account provides one small piece of evidence to the genetic
closeness of hubbsi and welaka to other Pteronotropis.
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