Natural hybridization is rare in the family Ictaluridae. Putative hybrids of the madtoms Noturus flavus and N. insignis were collected from Blackwater River, Monongahela River drainage, WV. Noturus flavus is native to the Monongahela River drainage, whereas N. insignis is nonnative. We quantified morphological differences among N. flavus, N. insignis, and putative hybrids by sheared principal components analysis of morphometric characters. Putative hybrids were intermediate in tooth patch dimensions, caudal fin pigmentation, length of the dorsal fin base, distance between the adipose/caudal notch and base of caudal fin, and position of anal fin. Hybridization between N. flavus and N. insignis is supported by morphological intermediacy, and may be linked to higher abundances of N. insignis or degraded habitat in the Blackwater River.
Additional publication details
Natural hybrids of the madtoms, Noturus flavus and Noturus insignis, from the Monongahela River drainage, West Virginia