Variation in female mate preference across a grasshopper hybrid zone

R. K. Butlin*, M. G. Ritchie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


A method for studying variation in female preference among populations free from the confounding effects of variation in male characters is described. This method is applied to sixteen populations in a transect across a hybrid zone in the grasshopper, Chorthippus parallelus. Significant variation in preference is revealed among populations. The pattern of this variation is analysed in the context of the reinforcement model of speciation. While the data do indicate an increased homogamic preference on one side of the zone relative to more distant populations, this pattern cannot be distinguished statistically from an abrupt transition in preference over a distance of less than 1 km. We argue that either of these patterns implies that selection operates on female preferences in the hybrid zone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-240
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1991


  • Hybrid zone
  • mate preference
  • reinforcement
  • speciation


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