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Gender differences in species recognition and the evolution of asymmetric sexual isolation

Author:
  • Erik Svensson
  • Kristina Karlsson
  • Magne Friberg
  • Fabrice Eroukhmanoff
Publishing year: 2007
Language: English
Pages: 1943-1947
Publication/Series: Current Biology
Volume: 17
Issue: 22
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

Closely related sympatric species are expected to evolve strong species discrimination because of the reinforcement of mate preferences [1-4]. Fitness costs of heterospecific matings are thought to be higher in females than in males, and females are therefore expected to show stronger species discrimination than males [5, 6]. Here, we investigated gender and species differences in sexual isolation in a sympatric species pair of Calopteryx damselflies. The genus Calopteryx is one of the classic examples of reproductive character displacement in evolutionary biology, with exaggerated interspecific differences in the amount of dark wing coloration when species become sympatric [7-9]. Experimental manipulation of the extent of dark wing coloration revealed that sexual isolation results from both female and male mate discrimination and that wing melanization functions as a species recognition character. Female choice of conspecific males is entirely based on wing coloration, whereas males in one species also use other species recognition cues in addition to wing color. Stronger species discrimination ability in males is presumably an evolutionary response to an elevated male predation risk caused by conspicuous wing coloration [10]. Gender differences in species discrimination and fitness costs of male courtship can thus shed new light on the evolution of asymmetric sexual isolation and the reinforcement of mate preferences [2-4, 11].

Keywords

  • Biological Sciences
  • MALES
  • SPECIATION
  • SELECTION
  • LABORATORY POPULATIONS
  • MATING FREQUENCIES
  • MALE MATE CHOICE
  • INTERSPECIFIC AGGRESSION
  • DROSOPHILA-MELANOGASTER
  • REINFORCEMENT
  • CHARACTER DISPLACEMENT

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 1879-0445
erik_svensson
E-mail: erik [dot] svensson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor

Evolutionary ecology

+46 46 222 38 19

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Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden