Simulating natural conditions in the laboratory: a re-examination of sexual isolation between sympatric and allopatric populations of Drosophila pseudoobscura and D. persimilis.


Journal Article

Simulating natural conditions in the laboratory poses one of the most significant challenges to behavioral studies. Some authors have argued that laboratory "choice" experiments reflect mate choice in nature more accurately than "no-choice" experiments. A recent choice experiment study questioned the conclusions of several earlier studies by failing to detect a published difference in sexual isolation between populations of Drosophila pseudoobscura, and suggested their result was more robust because of the more realistic design. Here, we re-examine the methods and analyses of this recent study, and we find there was indeed a difference in sexual isolation between populations of D. pseudoobscura. We also conduct a more rigorously controlled choice experiment and, in agreement with previous studies, note that D. pseudoobscura females from populations sympatric to their sibling species, D. persimilis, exhibit greater sexual isolation than those from allopatric populations. Our results confirm the existence of a geographic pattern in sexual isolation in D. pseudoobscura, and we discuss differences in experimental designs in light of the biology of this species.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Noor, MAF; Ortíz-Barrientos, D

Published Date

  • March 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 36 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 322 - 327

PubMed ID

  • 16502138

Pubmed Central ID

  • 16502138

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-3297

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0001-8244

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10519-005-9033-8


  • eng