Premating reproductive barriers between hybridising cricket species differing in their degree of polyandry
Public Library of Science
© 2011 Veen et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Understanding speciation hinges on understanding how reproductive barriers arise between incompletely isolated populations. Despite their crucial role in speciation, prezygotic barriers are relatively poorly understood and hard to predict. We use two closely related cricket species, Gryllus bimaculatus and G. campestris, to experimentally investigate premating barriers during three sequential mate choice steps. Furthermore, we experimentally show a significant difference in polyandry levels between the two species and subsequently test the hypothesis that females of the more polyandrous species, G. bimaculatus, will be less discriminating against heterospecific males and hence hybridise more readily. During close-range mating behaviour experiments, males showed relatively weak species discrimination but females discriminated very strongly. In line with our predictions, this discrimination is asymmetric, with the more polyandrous G. bimaculatus mating heterospecifically and G. campestris females never mating heterospecifically. Our study shows clear differences in the strength of reproductive isolation during the mate choice process depending on sex and species, which may have important consequences for the evolution of reproductive barriers.
TV was supported by a Rubicon grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research and the NSERC-CREATE Training Program in Biodiversity Research. RR-M and TT were supported by grants from the Natural Environment Research Council. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
This is the final version of the article. Available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 6, e19531
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