Comments: Variation and ranges of described subspecies are poorly understood (Page and Burr 1991). Jennings and Phillip (1992) found that the most morphologically distinct form (subspecies peltastes) is not genetically distinct from subspecies megalotis (based on allele frequencies), whereas populations distributed from the Missouri River basin to the Colorado River in Texas, for which the subspecific names breviceps and aquilensis are available, clustered as a distinct group and warrant further study; they found no evidence of a distinct form in the Ozark Highlands.
Bailey et al. (2004) and Page and Burr (2011) recognized L. peltastes as a species, but Nelson et al. (2004) and Catalog of Fishes (as of early 2012) did not.
Lepomis megalotis hybridizes extensively with other Lepomis (Lee et al. 1980).
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