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Keywords:

  • Attractiveness;
  • geographic isolation;
  • Leptopilina clavipes;
  • sperm storage;
  • thelytoky;
  • Wolbachia

Population divergence in sexual traits is affected by different selection pressures, depending on the mode of reproduction. In allopatric sexual populations, aspects of sexual behavior may diverge due to sexual selection. In parthenogenetic populations, loss-of-function mutations in genes involved in sexual functionality may be selectively neutral or favored by selection. We assess to what extent these processes have contributed to divergence in female sexual traits in the parasitoid wasp Leptopilina clavipes in which some populations are infected with parthenogenesis-inducing Wolbachia bacteria. We find evidence consistent with both hypotheses. Both arrhenotokous males and males derived from thelytokous strains preferred to court females from their own population. This suggests that these populations had already evolved population-specific mating preferences when the latter became parthenogenetic. Thelytokous females did not store sperm efficiently and fertilized very few of their eggs. The nonfertility of thelytokous females was due to mutations in the wasp genome, which must be an effect of mutation accumulation under thelytoky. Divergence in female sexual traits of these two allopatric populations has thus been molded by different forces: independent male/female coevolution while both populations were still sexual, followed by female-only evolution after one population switched to parthenogenesis.