A new paper of possible interest to those grappling (theoretically?) with hybrid ducks…
Taysom, A., J. Johnson and P.-J. Guay (2014). “Establishing a genetic system to distinguish between domestic Mallards, Pacific Black Ducks and their hybrids.”
Conservation Genetics Resources 6(1): 197-199.
Abstract: Dabbling ducks are subject to many threatening processes. Hybridisation with introduced Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) is a threat that is commonly overlooked. Mallards, both domestic and wild,
have been introduced in Australia and New Zealand. While hybridisation with Mallards caused significant decline in the New Zealand populations of Pacific Black (Grey) Ducks (Anas superciliosa), the degree of hybridisation between Mallard and the Pacific Black
Duck in Australia is currently unknown, largely because hybrid backcrosses are difficult to visually identify. We screened 27 cross-amplifying waterfowl microsatellite markers and developed a set of 9 markers that can be used for genotyping and assignment
tests to identify cryptic hybrids. Assignment tests, performed with the program Structure 2.3.4, had a 99 % likelihood that specimens of a known species (Mallard or Pacific Black Duck) were assigned to the correct group. The system was applied used to confirm
the hybrid status of two putative hybrids identified phenotypically. The successful application of this system demonstrates its potential use in determining the rate of hybridisation between introduced Mallards and Pacific Black Ducks throughout Australia.
Notes: Supplementary material: at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12686-013-0054-y?wt_mc=alerts.TOCjournals.
From: Geoffrey Dabb [
Sent: Saturday, 31 August 2013 6:19 PM
To: 'Canberra Birds'
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Help with ID please
Lindell - According to HANZAB young shelduck have the pale breast early. A mallard hybrid seems more likely on your info and would be my first thought for
an unusual duck at such a place, or around Canberra for that matter
Sent: Saturday, 31 August 2013 6:04 PM
To: Canberra Birds
Subject: [canberrabirds] Help with ID please
Seen at Lake Williams, Nimitabel - is this a juvenile Shelduck? Very dark brown chest and orange feet had me confused.