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Keywords:

  • Assortative mating;
  • premating isolation;
  • asymmetric mate choice;
  • rapid evolution;
  • speciation

We used no-choice mating trials to test for assortative mating between a newly derived resident-freshwater population (8–22 generations since founding) of threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) in Loberg Lake, Alaska and its putative anadromous ancestor as well as a morphologically convergent but distantly related resident-freshwater population. Partial reproductive isolation has evolved between the Loberg Lake population and its ancestor within a remarkably short time period. However, Loberg stickleback readily mate with morphologically similar, but distantly related resident-freshwater stickleback. Partial premating isolation is asymmetrical; anadromous females and smaller resident-freshwater males from Loberg Lake readily mate, but the anadromous males and smaller Loberg females do not. Our results indicate that premating isolation can begin to evolve in allopatry within a few generations after isolation as a correlated effect of evolution of reduced body size.