Can grey duck (Anas superciliosa) x mallard (A. platyrhynchos) hybrids be recognised in the field?
|Title||Can grey duck (Anas superciliosa) x mallard (A. platyrhynchos) hybrids be recognised in the field?|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2019|
|Type of Article||Full article|
|Keywords||Anas platyrhynchos, Anas superciliosa, grey duck, hybridisation, mallard, New Zealand|
Face, wing, bill, and leg characteristics of grey ducks (Anas. s. superciliosa), of captive-raised F1 and backcrossed grey duck x mallard (A. platyrhynchos) hybrids, and of wild “grey-like” and “mallard-like” ducks in New Zealand were evaluated to assist recognition of grey duck x mallard hybrids in the field. Face pattern was the single character best able to discriminate grey ducks from all others, most grey-like hybrids from all mallard-like hybrids, but not most F1 and backcrossed mallard hybrids from mallards. Upper wing pattern, and bill and leg colours assisted discrimination alongside face pattern but not so on their own. The extensive phenotypic variability now apparent within the combined grey duck – mallard population in New Zealand restricts consistent discrimination to 3 “taxa”: grey ducks, grey-like ducks (“grallard/greylard”), and mallard-like ducks (“New Zealand mallard”).