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Keywords:

  • California Floristic Province;
  • parthenogenesis;
  • phylogeography

Studies investigating the short-term benefits of asexual reproduction suggest that there are a variety of ecological and genetic factors that influence relative success rates. The current study focuses on investigating these factors in the weevil Geodercodes latipennis with newly discovered parthenogenetic populations in the California Floristic Province. Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data revealed three independent transitions from sexual to asexual reproduction. One of these asexual lineages had a much broader range than the other sexual and asexual populations, and was distributed across several geographic features that have been implicated as strong phylogeographic barriers in other species in the region, suggesting high migration rates, high adaptability, or both. The success of this lineage relative to the other parthenogenetic clades may be related to its age; however, there were several possibilities explaining why it was more broadly distributed than its sexual sister group. Understanding how various factors operate in one system contributes to our understanding of how the evolutionary history of lineages with frequent transitions to parthenogenesis can be affected by the short-term advantages of asexual reproduction. © 2010 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2010, 101, 935–948.