Data from: Sexual selection against natural hybrids may contribute to reinforcement in a house mouse hybrid zone
Cite this dataset
Latour, Yasmin et al. (2014). Data from: Sexual selection against natural hybrids may contribute to reinforcement in a house mouse hybrid zone [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.qg2rk
Sexual selection may hinder gene flow across contact zones when hybrid recognition signals are discriminated against. We tested this hypothesis in a unimodal hybrid zone between Mus musculus musculus and Mus musculus domesticus where a pattern of reinforcement was described and lower hybrid fitness documented. We presented mice from the border of the hybrid zone with a choice between opposite sex urine from the same subspecies versus hybrids sampled in different locations across the zone. While no preference was evidenced in domesticus mice, musculus males discriminated in favour of musculus signals and against hybrid signals. Remarkably, the pattern of hybrid unattractiveness did not vary across the hybrid zone. Moreover, allopatric populations tested in the same conditions did not discriminate against hybrid signals, indicating character displacement for signal perception or preference. Finally, habituation–discrimination tests assessing similarities between signals pointed out that hybrid signals differed from the parental ones. Overall, our results suggest that perception of hybrids as unattractive has evolved in border populations of musculus after the secondary contact with domesticus. We discuss the mechanisms involved in hybrid unattractiveness, and the potential impact of asymmetric sexual selection on the hybrid zone dynamics and gene flow between the two subspecies.