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Interspecific aggression, not interspecific mating, drives character displacement in the wing coloration of male rubyspot damselflies (Hetaerina).

Drury, J.P. and Grether, G.F. (2014) 'Interspecific aggression, not interspecific mating, drives character displacement in the wing coloration of male rubyspot damselflies (Hetaerina).', Proceedings of the Royal Society series B : biological sciences., 281 (1796). p. 20141737.

Abstract

Traits that mediate intraspecific social interactions may overlap in closely related sympatric species, resulting in costly between-species interactions. Such interactions have principally interested investigators studying the evolution of reproductive isolation via reproductive character displacement (RCD) or reinforcement, yet in addition to reproductive interference, interspecific trait overlap can lead to costly between-species aggression. Previous research on rubyspot damselflies (Hetaerina spp.) demonstrated that sympatric shifts in male wing colour patterns and competitor recognition reduce interspecific aggression, supporting the hypothesis that agonistic character displacement (ACD) drove trait shifts. However, a recent theoretical model shows that RCD overshadows ACD if the same male trait is used for both female mate recognition and male competitor recognition. To determine whether female mate recognition is based on male wing coloration in Hetaerina, we conducted a phenotype manipulation experiment. Compared to control males, male H. americana with wings manipulated to resemble a sympatric congener (H. titia) suffered no reduction in mating success. Thus, female mate recognition is not based on species differences in male wing coloration. Experimental males did, however, experience higher interspecific fighting rates and reduced survival compared to controls. These results greatly strengthen the case for ACD and highlight the mechanistic distinction between ACD and RCD.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.1737
Date accepted:22 September 2014
Date deposited:19 July 2018
Date of first online publication:07 December 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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