Head ML, Price EK &Boughman JW. (2009) Body size differences do not arise from divergent mate preferences in a species pair of threespine stickleback. Biology Letters 5: 517-520.


Ecological speciation can be driven by divergent natural and/or sexual selection. The relative contribution of these processes to species divergence, however, is unknown. Here, we investigate how sexual selection in the form of male and female mate preferences contributes to divergence of body size. This trait is known be under divergent natural selection and also contributes to sexual isolation in species pairs of threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We show that neither female nor male size preferences contribute to body size divergence in this species pair, suggesting that size‑based sexual isolation arises primarily through natural selection.




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