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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