Morphological variation in intergrade pupfish populations from the Pecos River, Texas, U.S.A.

G. R. Wilde, A. A. Echelle

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14 Scopus citations


In the early 1980s, sheepshead minnow Cyprinodon variegatus was introduced into the Pecos River, Texas, U.S.A. where it hybridized with the cndemic Pecos pupfish C. pecosensis. By 1985, pupfish populations throughout approximately 300 km of the river consisted exclusively of individuals of hybrid origin (intergrades). There was significant (P<0.05) geographic variation in most morphological characters; the general pattern of variation was of a bidirectional cline centred near Pecos. Texas. At that site, morphology of intergrade populations resembled mostly that of the introduced species. Upstream and downstream from Pecos, morphology shifted progressively toward that typical of the native form. Intergrade populations were morphologically intermediate to the parental forms, showed a rapid approach to random assortment of characters, and generally exhibited greater morphological variability than occurred in either parent species. These observations and the consistent lack of bimodality in frequency distributions of a morphological hybrid index support the contention that intergrade populations comprise panmictic admixtures of C. variegatus and C. pecosensis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-539
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1997


  • Cyprinodon pecosensis
  • Cyprinodon variegatus
  • hybridization
  • introgression
  • morphology
  • pupfish


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