Development Of Color Pattern In Pond-Reared Young Of Five Micropterus Species Of Southeastern U. S.

Six stocks of Southeastern Micropterus were spawned in earthen ponds, including wild-caught adults of M. coosae (Alabama and Apalachicola races), M. p. punctulatus, M. punctulatus henshalli, and M. notius, and hatchery stock of M. dolomieui. Fry were reared in earthen ponds provided with Pimephales promelas forage. Periodic samples were preserved to determine pigmentation characteristics at different ages and sizes. An illustrated key to species was prepared based on length and juvenal color pattern. Wild-caught specimens of M. salmoides were included for comparison. Color pattern changes progressed at a smaller size in stunted and wild-caught young.

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