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No barriers to gene flow among sympatric polychromatic ‘small’Telmatherina antoniae from Lake Matano, Indonesia

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Abstract

Genetic divergence, assortative courtship and intermale aggression were assessed between sympatric colour morphs of the sailfin silverside Telmatherina antoniae, endemic to Lake Matano, Indonesia. Genetic analysis using microsatellite markers showed no barriers to gene flow among T. antoniae primary colour morphs (blue and yellow) within sampling sites, sympatric populations or at the lake-wide level. Low but significant genetic differentiation was found between yellow morphs and mixed (blue–yellow) morphs. Behavioural surveys indicated assortative courtship does occur along primary colour lines; however, intermale aggression among paired and intruding male morphs appeared equal with respect to male colour. These observations support the hypothesis that males view other males as threats to their courtship regardless of their colour. This study supports recent work suggesting that assortative mating is present in T. antoniae despite a lack of reproductive isolation among colour morphs.

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