Divergent patterns of diversification in courtship and genitalic characters of Timema walking-sticks

D. Arbuthnott*, M.G. Elliot, M.A. McPeek, B.J. Crespi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding the patterns of diversification in sexual traits and the selection underlying such diversification represents a major unresolved question in evolutionary biology. We examined the phylogenetic diversification for courtship and external genitalic characters across ten species of Timema walking-sticks, to infer the tempos and modes of character change in these sexual traits and to draw inferences regarding the selective pressures underlying speciation and diversification in this clade. Rates of inferred change in male courtship behaviours were proportional to speciation events, but male external genitalic structures showed a pattern of continuous change across evolutionary time, with divergence proportional to branch lengths. These findings suggest that diversification of courtship behaviour is mediated by processes that occur in association with speciation, whereas diversification of genitalia occurs more or less continuously, most likely driven by forces of sexual selection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1399-1411
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume23
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • courtship evolution
  • genitalia
  • phylogenetics
  • reproductive isolation
  • speciation
  • REPRODUCTIVE ISOLATION
  • SEXUAL SELECTION
  • DROSOPHILA-SILVESTRIS
  • ECOLOGICAL ADAPTATION
  • ENALLAGMA-DAMSELFLIES
  • ANIMAL GENITALIA
  • MATE RECOGNITION
  • MATING SUCCESS
  • EVOLUTION
  • COENAGRIONIDAE

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