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Keywords:

  • Courtship;
  • genetic correlation;
  • laupala;
  • sexual selection;
  • speciation

Diverging sexual communication systems can lead to the evolution of new species that no longer recognize each other as potential mates. The coevolution of male and female components of sexual communication is facilitated by physical linkage between genes underlying signals and preferences. By crossing two closely related Hawaiian crickets (Laupala kohalensis and Laupala paranigra) with vastly different song pulse rates and female preferences, and assessing segregation of songs and preferences among second generation backcrosses, we show a strong genetic correlation between song and preference variation. Furthermore, multiple, but not all, quantitative trait loci underlying song variation also predict female preferences. This physical linkage or pleiotropy may have facilitated the striking diversification of pulse rates observed among Laupala species in conjunction with one of the most rapid species radiations so far recorded.