Current Zoology(formerly Acta Zoologica Sinica), 2012, 58(3): 416 - 425
Incipient sexual isolation in Laupala cerasina: Females discriminate population-level divergence in acoustic characters
Jaime L. GRACE, Kerry L. SHAW
D e p a r t m e n t o f B i o l o g y , U n i v e r s i t y o f M a r y l a n d , U S A
Sexual selection by female choice can shape the evolution of male traits within populations, since the most attractive males experience an increase in fitness through elevated mating success. Speciation by sexual selection occurs when evolution in traits and preferences within populations causes differentiation among populations, such that females in alternative populations prefer sexual signals of their own population relative to others. Differentiated traits and preferences thereby play an active role in limiting gene flow between divergent populations. The effectiveness of differentiated preferences in maintaining differentiated male signals against the homogenizing effects of gene flow across populations will be limited by both the degree to which females can discriminate against non-local males, and the breeding values of traits and preferences. Populations of the Hawaiian cricket Laupala cerasina have diverged in pulse rate, a sexually selected male signal, and female acoustic preference for pulse rate. Gene flow between neighboring populations may be reduced if migrants from sexually diverged populations experience reduced mating success. We show that females discriminate among divergent songs characteristic of neighboring populations, that differences among populations in song and preference breed true in a common environment, and that mean preferences for each population closely match the mean pulse rates. Divergence in preference was observed only between populations that also differed in song. Along with a striking ability to discriminate slight differences in song, correlated evolution of song and preference within populations could be a mechanism that promotes assortative mating among populations, thereby reducing gene flow, and leading to speciation in Laupala [Current Zoology 58 (3): 416-425, 2012].
Sexual selection, Phenotypic divergence, Behavioral isolation, Preference functions, Speciation