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Redbreast sunfish extra-large ears


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#1 FirstChAoS

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 02:19 AM

Josh - I think you're getting serracanthus mixed up with the Florida spotted form of brown bullhead.  The spotted bullhead (serracanthus) has been a recognized species since 1968.  The Florida spotted form of brown bullhead (smaller eye, not as flat, and lacks the dark dorsal base) is still "just" a brown bullhead (nebulosus).

 

"Long-eared redbreast sunfish" ???  Aren't they just the big dominant males?

 

Thanks for clearing up the two forms of spotted bullheads.

 

As for redbreasts I notice some southern ones have HUGE opercular tabs compared to northern ones. I always wonder if they are a subspecies or not. (I call them Pteracephalus in my own mind, yep, wing heads). 



#2 Betta132

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 04:37 PM

Aquarina Springs in Central Texas has very large sunfish (7 endangered species, so no types of fishing allowed), and some of the redbreasts have massive ears. It shows up a bit in smaller ones, but the best examples are the huge (1lb+) sunnies. I don't know for certain, but at the very least they have to be a different variety of redbreast for there to be that much of a difference. 



#3 gerald

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 12:11 PM

Aquarina Springs in Central Texas has very large sunfish (7 endangered species, so no types of fishing allowed), and some of the redbreasts have massive ears. It shows up a bit in smaller ones, but the best examples are the huge (1lb+) sunnies. I don't know for certain, but at the very least they have to be a different variety of redbreast for there to be that much of a difference. 

 

Why can't it simply be a secondary sexual characteristic that starts showing up in young males with higher testosterone levels, and is expressed most visibly in the largest and oldest ones?  I dont see why it has to be a "different variety" (in the genetic sense). 

 

Edit: I'm gonna move this to a new thread - this was supposed to be about bullhead ID.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#4 FirstChAoS

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 01:51 PM

Gerald, why would the expression of those characteristics vary regionally to such an immense degree.

#5 Dustin

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 02:05 PM

Could be temperature dependent or have a correlation with length of breeding season. 


Dustin Smith
At the convergence of the Broad, Saluda and Congaree
Lexington, SC


#6 Isaac Szabo

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 02:47 PM

Josh, what makes you so sure that northern populations of redbreasts don't get long ear flaps? Have you come across large (8"+) males up there? I don't doubt that there is variation among different populations of redbreast, but I don't know about ear flap length. My main experience with this species is in FL but also a little bit in NC/TN. While I've seen coloration differences between the FL and NC/TN populations, I'm not sure I noticed a significant difference in ear flap length:

 

FL%20Redbreast.jpg

Here's a very large individual from FL.

 

NC%20Redbreast.jpg

Here's one not quite as large from NC.

 

There are some coloration differences here, leading me to think that they might be genetically distinct populations, but they both have long ear flaps. I don't have any experience with the northern ones, but both Gerald and Dustin bring up some good points. In my experience, only large individuals get the really long ear flaps. Could it be that on average they don't grow as big up north due to colder temperatures and shorter growing season? Or, do you see really large individuals with shorter ear flaps up there?

 

Betta132, redbreasts are not native to Texas (they were intentionally stocked there), so the form you have there is really from somewhere else. But I'm not sure where the stock originated from.



#7 FirstChAoS

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 04:38 AM

To be honest I never seen one above 6-8 inches up here. That may make a difference, Of course this opens the question if growth rates differ,

As for color differences, the ones I see up here are largely greenish but Justin down in Mass found blue ones. 



#8 Betta132

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 08:16 PM

It's not just the length of the ear-flaps. I've seen a few particularly large redbreasts with ear-flaps that widen to larger than quarters. 



#9 Dustin

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 08:58 AM

It's not just the length of the ear-flaps. I've seen a few particularly large redbreasts with ear-flaps that widen to larger than quarters. 

Are you certain that those are not longears?  Or potentially longear x redbreast hybrids.


Dustin Smith
At the convergence of the Broad, Saluda and Congaree
Lexington, SC


#10 gerald

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 09:25 AM

I was thinking the same as Dustin.  Normally redbreast opercular flaps are only slightly widened at the end, like Isaac's pix above.  Big rounded ends (quarter-size, really?)  suggests something else in the mix.  Species introduced outside their native range may be more prone to hybridizing (provided of course there's something suitable to hybridize with)!  The red shiner is notorious for this.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#11 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 07:01 PM

We are going to need Isaac to do some serious photoshopping if you are suggesting a Redbreast x Red Shiner Hybrid!!!


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#12 Betta132

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 02:05 PM

I suppose theoretically they could have been hybrids, but I didn't see any longears around the redbreasts in question. It was a bit too deep for longears, I think. Anyway, the longears are small around here, I doubt they could compete with redbreasts for redbreast mates. 



#13 gerald

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 03:26 PM

I suppose theoretically they could have been hybrids, but I didn't see any longears around the redbreasts in question. It was a bit too deep for longears, I think. Anyway, the longears are small around here, I doubt they could compete with redbreasts for redbreast mates. 

 And what might a gravid and desperate longear female do if all the good nesting sites have been claimed by redbreast males?  This is often how hybrids happen in captivity.   If "Mr. Right" cant compete against males of other species, then females of his species have no choice but to spawn with whatever male is dominant.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel





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