Parallel phenotypic evolution in a wolf spider radiation on Galápagos

Authors

  • CHARLOTTE DE BUSSCHERE,

    Corresponding author
    1. Terrestrial Ecology Unit, Department of Biology, Ghent University, K. L. Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
    Search for more papers by this author
  • LÉON BAERT,

    1. Department Entomology, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
    Search for more papers by this author
  • STEVEN MARCEL VAN BELLEGHEM,

    1. Terrestrial Ecology Unit, Department of Biology, Ghent University, K. L. Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
    2. Department Entomology, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
    Search for more papers by this author
  • WOUTER DEKONINCK,

    1. Department Entomology, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
    Search for more papers by this author
  • FREDERIK HENDRICKX

    1. Department Entomology, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
    Search for more papers by this author

E-mail: Charlotte.debusschere@ugent.be

Abstract

Within island archipelagos, repeated ecological settings may lead to radiations wherein similar niches are recurrently occupied. Although it has been shown that species with common habitat requirements share particular traits, it remains relatively unexplored to what extent this may lead to the repeated evolution of almost identical phenotypes (phenocopies) and how this correlates with traits subjected to sexual selection. Exploring divergence patterns of ecological and sexual relevant traits within spiders seem promising to enhance our understanding of the relative role of natural and sexual selection. Here, we conduct a detailed morphological analysis on a large set of genital and non-genital traits (morphometrics, colour pattern) within a radiation of the wolf spider genus Hogna Simon, 1885 on Galápagos and interpret these data, taking into account their known phylogenetic relationship. Our results show that recurrent environmental gradients have led to the parallel evolution of almost identical phenotypes, which not only proves that natural selection has driven morphological divergence, but also suggests that a similar genetic or developmental basis most likely underlies this divergence. Among-species variation in genital traits in contrast rather reflects the phylogenetic relationships on Santa Cruz and San Cristóbal. The combination of these data indicate that speciation in this system is driven by the combined effect of ecological mechanisms and allopatric divergence in sexual traits. © 2012 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, 106, 123–136.

Ancillary