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Parallel phenotypic evolution in a wolf spider radiation on Galápagos.

TitleParallel phenotypic evolution in a wolf spider radiation on Galápagos.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsDe Busschere, C, Baert, L, Van Belleghem, S, Dekoninck, W, Hendrickx, F
JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
AbstractWithin island archipelagos, repeated ecological settings may lead to radiations wherein similar niches are recurrently occupied. Although it has been shown that species with common habitat requirements share particular traits, it remains relatively unexplored to what extent this may lead to the repeated evolution of almost identical phenotypes (phenocopies) and how this correlates with traits subjected to sexual selection. Exploring divergence patterns of ecological and sexual relevant traits within spiders seem promising to enhance our understanding of the relative role of natural and sexual selection. Here, we conduct a detailed morphological analysis on a large set of genital and non-genital traits (morphometrics, colour pattern) within a radiation of the wolf spider genus Hogna Simon, 1885 on Galápagos and interpret these data, taking into account their known phylogenetic relationship. Our results show that recurrent environmental gradients have led to the parallel evolution of almost identical phenotypes, which not only proves that natural selection has driven morphological divergence, but also suggests that a similar genetic or developmental basis most likely underlies this divergence. Among-species variation in genital traits in contrast rather re{fl}ects the phylogenetic relationships on Santa Cruz and San Cristóbal. The combination of these data indicate that speciation in this system is driven by the combined effect of ecological mechanisms and allopatric divergence in sexual traits.
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