Razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus) and flannelmouth sucker (Catostomus latipinnis) live in sympatry in the Colorado River basin. Although morphological intermediates have been described since 1889, hybrids were seemingly rare. Rarity of hybrids was likely attributed to razorback suckers' ability to find conspecific mates throughout the basin. Dams have segmented the Colorado River, altering habitat and isolating native fish populations. As a result, razorback suckers became endangered. Razorback suckers are uncommon in the Colorado River and hybridization could increase because of limited conspecific mates. To understand the impacts of hybridization on recovery of the razorback sucker, information on hybrid viability is needed. We compared hatch success and larval survival of artificially spawned razorback sucker, flannelmouth sucker, and their hybrids. We were able to successfully spawn and rear all combinations, implying that there are limited pre- and postzygotic isolation mechanisms, and hybrids are likely to survive in the wild.
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Vol. 63 • No. 4