Letters from the November 11, 2006, issue of Science News | Science News


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Letters to the Editor

Letters from the November 11, 2006, issue of Science News

1:06pm, November 6, 2006

The Carolinas to New Jersey

"Bad-News Beauties: Poison-spined fish from Asia have invaded U.S. waters" (SN: 9/9/06, p. 168) cites evidence of a severe genetic bottleneck, suggesting that perhaps no more than three pregnant females launched the expanding western Atlantic red lionfish population. How can there be "pregnant females" in an animal with the external fertilization described in the article? Do you mean a founder population of as few as three individuals? Please clarify.

Lynn Lozier
Fairfax, Calif.

Three females, which release their eggs, could be the maternal ancestors of the red lionfish now breeding in the west Atlantic. There would also have had to be at least one fertilizing male present in that ancestral brood stock.—J. Raloff

I just wanted to report catching a 1 1/2-inch lionfish behind Strathmere near Corson Inlet off New Jersey. I have been catching fish for m

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