Papers in the Biological Sciences


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Published in the Auk (April-June 1971) 88(2): 264-275. Copyright 1971, University of California. Used by permission.


Hybridization experiments among six species of New World quail currently placed in four genera (Colinus, Callipepla, Lophortyx, and Oreortyx) involved the establishment of nine mixed-pair combinations. Seven of these combinations resulted in the production of F1 offspring, and individuals representing five intergeneric crosses have been reared to maturity. These F1 individuals exhibited a hatchability at least as high as occurred in parental species matings. In four of five intergeneric crosses, the hybrid females have laid smaller-than-normal eggs in spite of average or higher-than-average egg production, and a high proportion of eggs females laid have been infertile or suffered early embryonic death. Limited hybrid fertility has been established for one Colinus × Lophortyx and two Callipepla × Lophortyx combinations. Downy and adult plumage patterns of hybrids are generally intermediate and provide clues as to the probable evolution of plumage diversity in the group. Egg-white proteins of eight odontophorine species and five hybrid combinations were analyzed electrophoretically and exhibited great similarity, further suggesting close evolutionary relationships.

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