Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Female mate preferences do not predict male sexual signals across populations

Citation

Calabrese, Gina; Pfennig, Karin (2021), Female mate preferences do not predict male sexual signals across populations, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gtht76hmj

Abstract

New species can arise when female preferences and male sexual signals diverge across populations and thereby reduce mating between populations. Under this hypothesized mechanism for speciation, mate preferences and male signals should be correlated, but divergent, across populations. We evaluated this prediction using spadefoot toads (Spea multiplicata). We measured a sexually-selected male signal (call rate) for which female preferences are known to vary across populations in response to hybridization risk. Contrary to expectation, we found no correlation between male call rate and female preferences across populations. We discuss possible mechanisms of this pattern, including the effect of gene flow from heterospecifics on male call rate. Our results suggest that, even when populations vary in mating traits, the independent evolution of female preferences and male sexual signals might impede reproductive isolation between populations. 

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: IOS 1555520

Sigma Xi, Award: G201603152056018

Southwestern Association of Naturalists, Award: Howard McCarley Student Research Fellowship

American Museum of Natural History, Award: Southwestern Research Station Student Support Fund and Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Fund Grant

Graduate School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Award: Summer Research Fellowship

Chiricahua Desert Museum, Award: Charles W. Painter Grant in Herpetology

Sigma Xi, Award: G2017100191928932

Chiricahua Desert Museum, Award: Charles W. Painter Grant in Herpetology