Alternate Title

Using the Fishes of Texas Project Databases and Recent Collections to Detect Range Expansions by Four Fish Species on the Lower Coastal Plain of Texas

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The Fishes of Texas project online database is a large, freely available quality controlled fish occurrence database of museum vouchered specimens. We used data from it, the same project’s separate database of occurrences extracted from published literature and our own recent survey data to examine range stability for four fish species inhabiting the Texas Lower Coastal Plain: Fundulus chrysotus, Fundulus jenkinsi, Heterandria formosa and Poecilia formosa. A weakness of our data is that they consist of presences only and species absences can only rarely be inferred. To help adjust for this we used common widespread species as proxies for the four target species by using captures of these proxy species as indicators that the collecting methods used were appropriate to capture the target species, assuming then that large numbers of occurrences of the proxies with contemporaneous absence of the target species in the same samples supports inferences of probable absence of target species. We here report new and previously unpublished occurrences for these species and document westward range expansions for H. formosa and F. chrysotus, an eastward range expansion for P. formosa, and a pattern of possible range contraction and expansion for F. jenkinsi.

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