Send to

Choose Destination
J Evol Biol. 2019 Oct 21. doi: 10.1111/jeb.13559. [Epub ahead of print]

Sexual isolation with and without ecological isolation in marine isopods Jaera albifrons and J. praehirsuta.

Author information

UMR 7144, Station Biologique de Roscoff, CNRS & Sorbonne Université, Roscoff, France.
FR2424, Station Biologique de Roscoff, CNRS & Sorbonne Université, Roscoff, France.


Sexual barriers associated with mate choice are often found to be associated with some level of ecological isolation between species. The independence and relative strength of sexual isolation are thus difficult to assess. Here, we take advantage of a pair of marine isopod species (Jaera albifrons and J. praehirsuta) that show sexual isolation and coexist in populations where they share the same microhabitat or not (i.e. without or with ecological isolation). We estimated the strength of sexual isolation between J. albifrons and J. praehirsuta using no-choice trials and a multiple-choice experimental population. We found that sexual isolation is strong in both the presence and the absence of ecological isolation, but that it is asymmetric and fails to prevent interspecific gene flow entirely. First-generation intrinsic post-zygotic barriers were low, and there was no sexual isolation within J. praehirsuta across habitats. The J. albifrons/J. praehirsuta species pair thus provides an example where the role of sexual isolation as a barrier to gene flow (a) does not depend upon current ecological isolation, (b) seems to have evolved independently of local ecological conditions, but (c) is insufficient to complete speciation entirely on its own.


behavioral isolation; habitat isolation; mate choice; prezygotic barriers; speciation.


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center