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Gender differences in species recognition and the evolution of asymmetric sexual isolation.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Evolutionär Ekologi.
2007 (English)In: Current Biology, ISSN 0960-9822Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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].

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Ecology Ecology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-19829DOI: doi:10.1016/j.cub.2007.09.038ISI: 000251274300027PubMedID: 17935996OAI: diva2:186353
Available from: 2007-11-18 Created: 2007-11-18 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Friberg, Magne
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