Assortative mating across a hybrid zone in Chorthippus parallelus (Orthoptera: Acrididae)

Michael G. Ritchie*, Roger K. Butlin, Godfrey M. Hewitt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Two subspecies of the grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus meet and form a hybrid zone in the Pyrenees. Both strong hybrid dysfunction and a behavioural difference occur, which would seem to make the zone a suitable candidate for speciation by reinforcement. One of the classic ways of looking for this is to test for increased levels of assortative mating between populations from close to the region of contact. Here we show that, with virgin insects, such assortment decreases as one approaches the centre of the zone in C. parallelus. The pattern is different upon remating, with non‐virgins showing a pattern more like that predicted by reinforcement. Overall there is little evidence for reinforcement. We argue that other tests of the model may be more appropriate for stable hybrid zones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-352
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1989


  • Chorthippus parallelus
  • Hybrid zone
  • orthoptera
  • reinforcement
  • speciation


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