Evol Ecol Res 9: 71-90 (2007)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

A test for the parallel co-evolution of male colour and female preference in Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

Amy K. Schwartz* and Andrew P. Hendry

Redpath Museum and Department of Biology, McGill University, 859 Sherbrooke Street West, Montréal, Québec H3A 2K6, Canada

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: amy.schwartz@mail.mcgill.ca


Question: Do male traits and female preferences co-evolve in response to divergent natural selection?

Organisms: Six Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata) populations adapted to high- or low-predation environments in three separate drainages.

Methods: Measurement of colour patterns on wild-caught and lab-reared males. ‘No-choice’ mating experiments to quantify female preference functions for male traits. Comparisons of male colour and female preference functions between predation environments.

Predictions: If divergent natural selection drives parallel co-evolution, both male traits and female preferences should be similar for populations in similar environments but different for populations in different environments.

Conclusions: Male traits have broadly diverged in parallel between predation environments, leading to larger body size and increased colour in low-predation sites. Female preferences also appear to be diverging because females discriminate against colourful males in high-predation sites but not in low-predation sites. Despite this general pattern, deviations from parallel co-evolution were also present, suggesting a substantial role for other selective agents.

Keywords: adaptation, divergent selection, ecological speciation, guppy, mate choice, predation, preference function, sexual selection.

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        © 2007 Amy K. Schwartz. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

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