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Swordtail fish (Poeciliidae: genus Xiphophorus) are a paradigmatic case of sexual selection by sensory exploitation. Female preference for males with a conspicuous "sword" ornament is ancestral, suggesting that male morphology has evolved in response to a preexisting bias. The perceptual mechanisms underlying female mate choice have not been identified,(More)
It is well established that changes to the chemical environment can impair development, physiology and reproductive biology; by contrast, impacts on communication have not been widely reported. This is surprising given that chemical communication is the most widely used sensory modality in nature, and that variation in the chemical composition of the(More)
Hybridization is increasingly being recognized as a widespread process, even between ecologically and behaviorally divergent animal species. Determining phylogenetic relationships in the presence of hybridization remains a major challenge for evolutionary biologists, but advances in sequencing technology and phylogenetic techniques are beginning to address(More)
Development consists of growth and differentiation, which can be partially decoupled and can be affected by environmental factors to different extents. In amphibians, variation in the larval environment influences development and causes changes in post-metamorphic shape. We examined post-metamorphic consequences, both morphological and locomotory, of(More)
This paper is the consensus of a workshop that critically evaluated the utility and problems of video playbacks as stimuli in studies of visual behavior. We suggest that video playback is probably suitable for studying motion, shape, texture, size, and brightness. Studying color is problematic because video systems are specifically designed for humans. Any(More)
The dynamics of gene flow among populations ultimately depend on behavioural interactions among individuals (Ritchie, 2007), construed in the broadest sense to encompass chemical and mechanical interactions in plants and microorganisms. The mechanisms underlying mate choice can, therefore, determine whether hybridization promotes or retards speciation.(More)
Sexually dimorphic traits in many mate recognition systems have evolved in response to preexisting female biases. These biases are often quite general in form and are likely to be shared by predators, thereby imposing a cost on male trait expression. The Mexican tetra Astyanax mexicanus (Pisces: Characidae), a visual predator of swordtail fishes, exhibits(More)
Natural hybrid zones provide opportunities to study a range of evolutionary phenomena from speciation to the genetic basis of fitness-related traits. We show that widespread hybridization has occurred between two neo-tropical stream fishes with partial reproductive isolation. Phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial sequence data showed that the swordtail(More)
Many sexually-selected phenotypes involve some form of visual communication. Video-playback techniques are a powerful new tool for studying visual signaling systems. Individual aspects of complex stimuli can be reliably manipulated, and stimuli can be repeatedly presented without appreciable variation in their properties. Experimenters can also construct(More)