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Parallel allochronic divergence in a winter moth due to disruption of reproductive period by winter harshness


Satoshi Yamamoto, Fax: +81 75 753 4100; E-mail:


The disruption of reproductive timing by climatic harshness may result in the temporal isolation of conspecific populations and, ultimately, in speciation. However, whether temporal isolation alone can act as the force initiating speciation and how often the same type of climatic disruption results in the divergence of allochronic populations in a lineage are largely unknown. The reproductive period of the winter geometrid moth Inurois punctigera is separated into early and late winter in habitats with severe winters, but not in habitats with mild winters, suggesting that the reproductive season is disrupted by the harshness of the mid-winter period. Here, we show that sympatric pairs of early- and late-winter populations that differ in origin exist in different regions, suggesting a parallel divergence of reproductive timing. In each region, significant genetic differentiation exists between these early- and late-winter populations, suggesting that the temporal reproductive isolation has persisted. Moreover, we demonstrate that the temporal isolation, in comparison with geographic isolation, contributes greatly to the genetic differentiation among geographic and temporal populations by an analysis of molecular variance and by a comparison of genetic differentiations (FST) between geographic populations with and without difference in reproductive season. Our results suggest that adaptive divergence of allochronically reproducing populations has occurred independently in different regions, implying the generality of the role of temporal isolation in initiating speciation in a winter moth lineage.

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