Sexual isolation and courtship behavior in salamanders of the Eurycea bislineata species complex, with comments on the evolution of the mental gland and pheromone delivery behavior in the plethodontidae

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Abstract

The Eurycea bislineata (Two-lined salamander) species complex is characterized by extensive geographic genetic fragmentation throughout its range. I tested for sexual isolation and divergence in courtship behavior across a contact zone between E. wilderae and E. cirrigera. I found concordance between patterns of geographic genetic fragmentation and sexual isolation that suggests that divergence in the mate-recognition systems of E. cirrigera and E. wilderae prevents free gene exchange across their contact zone. In addition, the courtship behavior of the E. bislineata complex provides insights into alternative hypotheses of evolution of the mental gland and pheromone delivery behavior in plethodontid salamanders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-292
Number of pages12
JournalSoutheastern Naturalist
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2003

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