TitleThe evolution of asymmetry in sexual isolation: A model and a test case
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsArnold, SJ, Verrell, PA, Tilley, SG
Keywordsasymmetric sexual isolation Desmognathus ochrophaeus quantitative genetics model reproductive isolation sexual isolation sexual selection triple Gaussian model salamander desmognathus-ochrophaeus mate-recognition systems plethodontid salamanders drosophil

We constructed a model for the evolution of sexual isolation by extending Lande's (1981) model of sexual selection. The model predicts that asymmetric sexual isolation is a transient phenomenon, characteristic of intermediate stages of divergence in sexually selected traits. Unlike the Kaneshiro (1976, 1980) proposal, our model does not depend upon drift and the loss af courtship elements to produce asymmetries in sexual isolation. According to our model, the direction of evolution cannot be predicted from asymmetry in sexual isolation. We tested some features of the model using data fi-om an experimental study of sexual isolation in the salamander Desmognathus ochrophaeus. We tested for sexual isolation between 12 allopatric populations and Found significant asymmetry in sexual isolation in about a quarter of the test cases. The highest degrees of asymmetry were associated with intermediate levels of divergence. A curvilinear relationship between isolation asymmetry and divergence was predicted by our model and was supported by statistical analysis Of the salamander data.