Asymmetric mate choice, hybridization, and hybrid fitness in two sympatric grasshopper species

Autor(en): Hochkirch, Axel
Lemke, Isgard
Stichwörter: ACRIDIDAE; Assortative mating; Behavioral Sciences; CHORTHIPPUS-PARALLELUS ORTHOPTERA; Coexistence; Ecology; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; ERYTHROPUS ORTHOPTERA; FIELD CRICKET; Introgression; JACOBSI ORTHOPTERA; MALE SONG; Mate choice; MEADOW GRASSHOPPER; Orthoptera; REPRODUCTIVE INTERFERENCE; SEX-RATIO; TESTING HYPOTHESES; Zoology
Erscheinungsdatum: 2011
Herausgeber: SPRINGER
Journal: BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY
Volumen: 65
Ausgabe: 8
Startseite: 1637
Seitenende: 1645
Zusammenfassung: 
Hybridization between animal species has long been regarded as unusual, but is meanwhile accepted as a widespread phenomenon. Typically, sexual interactions among species are studied in secondary contact zones of closely related species (hybrid zones) or between invasive and native species, whereas hybridization between sympatric congeners has received little attention. Here, we present a study on the hybridization potential of two grasshopper species, Chorthippus parallelus and Chorthippus montanus, which occur sympatric in large parts of Eurasia. We performed a mate choice experiment with specimens from an area of local parapatry in northwestern Germany. Most copulations were conspecific, but males of both species and females of C. parallelus were indiscriminate in their mate choice, while females of C. montanus clearly preferred conspecific males. Although these results suggest asymmetric introgression, a no-choice hybridization experiment revealed that hybridization is possible in both directions. The hatching success of the hybrids was intermediate between the parental species. Female hybrids showed no clear mate preferences, indicating that back crossing in both directions is possible in principle, but the fertility of the hybrids and the fitness of the F2 generation remain unknown. Our study suggests that hybridization between sympatric species might occur more often than assumed. It might affect the ecology and local distribution of animals in a similar way as competition does.
ISSN: 03405443
DOI: 10.1007/s00265-011-1174-6

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