Correct discrimination between courtship signals could help to maintain genetic integrity between closely related species. However, asymmetric usage of signals might cause asymmetric gene flow across the contact zone. Buergeria choui and B. otai are sibling-species with a parapatric distribution pattern in Taiwan, having two narrow contact zones on the east and west sides of the island. Combining behavioural experiments with genome-wide RAD-seq analyses, we test whether the ability of signal recognition influences genetic introgression across their species boundary. The playback experiments show that all B. choui populations respond strongest to their own 'cricket' trills, while the western population of B. otai have evolved a strong level of reproductive character displacement by showing the inclusive usage of the unique 'chicken' signals. In contrast, the eastern B. otai population uses both 'chicken' and 'cricket' trills, and has a stronger preference for the latter. The weak reproductive character displacement in the eastern population has led to asymmetry genetic introgression from B. choui toward B. otai. Our results support the prediction that a more specialized signal-user, compared to its sibling, generalized signal-user, might have a higher probability of maintaining their genetic integrity in the secondary contact region.
- contact zone
- genetic introgression
- multiple shotgun genotyping (MSG)
- reproductive character displacement (RCD)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology