Event Abstract

Linking sexual selection and behavioral isolation in a colorful species of stream fish, Etheostoma barrenense

  • 1 University of Maryland Baltimore County, Biological Sciences, United States

Elaborate coloration in sexually dichromatic species is often thought to have arisen by sexual selection. Whether diversification of color among closely related species plays a role in behavioral isolation is less well understood. Few empirical examples clearly demonstrate that the sexual signals responsible for behavioral isolation between species are, or have been, subject to sexual selection within species. The present study investigates sexual selection in Etheostoma barrenense, a darter species whose male nuptial coloration is thought to contribute to behavioral isolation from a sympatric congener. Through the use of motorized model fish, we demonstrate that female E. barrenense discriminate between orange and red body hues and exhibit an association preference toward orange model males. This result provides evidence for a link between sexual selection and behavioral isolation, a hypothesis in need of greater empirical support.

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Keywords: association preference, behavioral isolation, Color, darter, Female Choice, Model, Sexual selection, speciation

Conference: Tenth International Congress of Neuroethology, College Park. Maryland USA, United States, 5 Aug - 10 Aug, 2012.

Presentation Type: Poster (but consider for participant symposium and student poster award)

Topic: Evolution

Citation: Williams TH, Gumm JM and Mendelson TC (2012). Linking sexual selection and behavioral isolation in a colorful species of stream fish, Etheostoma barrenense. Conference Abstract: Tenth International Congress of Neuroethology. doi: 10.3389/conf.fnbeh.2012.27.00276

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Received: 30 Apr 2012; Published Online: 07 Jul 2012.

* Correspondence: Ms. Tory H Williams, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Biological Sciences, Baltimore, Maryland, 21250, United States, tory1@umbc.edu

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