Mating behaviour in the endangered Sonoran topminnow: Speciation in action

C. R. Hurt, S. Stears-Ellis, K. A. Hughes, P. W. Hedrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Two species of the endangered Sonoran topminnow, Poeciliopsis occidentalis and P. sonoriensis, occur in two isolated drainage systems in southeast Arizona, U.S.A., and are allopatric throughout their range. Although these two taxa are morphologically very similar, and have been previously described as the same species or subspecies, several molecular studies have since indicated that they differ more than their morphology suggests. To determine whether the behaviours of the two species function as premating barriers to reproduction, we investigated their mating preferences and behavioural patterns in a laboratory setting. Results from no-choice mating observations showed that the mating behaviours of the two species differ. Observations conducted during multiple-choice mating trials provided evidence of assortative mating, suggesting an early stage of premating reproductive isolation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-351
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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