MATING COSTS, MALE CHOICE DISPLACEMENT, AND THE EFFECTS ON HYBRIDIZATION AND SPECIATION IN THE HAWAIIAN CRICKET LAUPALA (SUBFAMILY:TRIGONIDIINAE)
Shaw, Kerry L
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Contact zones between two closely-related species provide unique laboratories for studying the processes of speciation. This is because, within these zones, species barriers will be reinforced and speciation will reach completion, or the barriers will break down, causing the two species to become one. Which of these two alternatives will occur depends on the degree of genetic differentiation and behavioral isolation between the species. If there is significant and non-combinable genetic variation between species, but behavioral isolation between the two incipient taxa is incomplete and allows hybrid offspring to be produced, these hybrid offspring will have lower fitness relative to parental types and selection should act directly to eliminate those offspring and indirectly against parents with broad mating preferences or traits. If however the genetic architecture is similar and behavioral isolation is incomplete, the populations would be expected to turn into a hybrid swarm and eventually become one species. Patterns of behavioral isolation and genetic variation in several Laupala species pairs suggest that contact zones between closely related species are marked by conflicting patterns of behavioral isolation and genetic differentiation. Evidence also suggests that the complex courtship system of Laupala may allow male choice to play an important role in sexual selection and speciation. Therefore I tested several hypotheses about the genetic differentiation, sexual selection, and behavioral isolation in a contact zone between the closely-related and morphologically indistinguishable L. tantalus and L. pacifica species pair. First, by using the mitochondrial COI gene and AFLPs as genetic markers, I demonstrated that there appears to be mitochondrial DNA introgression between sympatric, but not allopatric congeners, which suggests contemporary hybridization in the contact zone. Next, I found that males experience post-mating resource-limitation and show a significant tendency to invest less into a second mating, however, their investment is dependent upon female size. Finally, I found that there is apparent displacement of male choice, decreased variation in spermatophore production, and asymmetrical mating isolation within the contact zone. This evidence all suggests that there is increased behavioral isolation in this contact zone, which may be consistent with a hypothesis of speciation by reinforcement. However, this evidence also suggests that male costs may result in male choice conflicting with other isolating mechanisms. If so, this study may be another putative case of reinforcement, or it may be an entirely novel report of conflicting selection pressures within a hybrid zone. I suggest that further studies are needed to measure hybrid fitness as well as to evaluate relative male and female mating costs within the complex mating system of this rapidly-diversifying genus.