Examples of natural hybridization are not uncommon among fishes. Fishes which are closely related are more likely to successfully hybridize than unrelated forms. Some hybrid fishes have been erroneously described as valid species, and have persisted in the literature due to lack of
verification by laboratory crosses. We describe a laboratory cross between two species of western Atlantic snapper (Perciformes: Lutjanidae) the lane snapper, Lutjanus synagris (Linnaeus) and the yellowtail snapper Ocyurus chrysurus (Bloch). We also describe a wild caught hybrid
snapper, which is an apparent cross between a grey snapper, Lutjanus griseus (Linnaeus), and O. chrysurus. The laboratory cross resulted in offspring which are identical to the species described as Lutjanus ambiguus (Poey). Our data show that L. ambiguus is not
a valid species, but instead a naturally occurring hybrid between L. synagris and O. chrysurus. In light of the apparent ease with which Ocyurus hybridizes with Lutjanus, and thc paucity of morphological characters to differentiate the two genera, we argue that
Ocyurus should be synonymized with Lutjanus.
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