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Asymmetric reproductive isolation during simultaneous reciprocal mating in pulmonates

By Amporn Wiwegweaw, Keiichi Seki, Hiroshi Mori and Takahiro Asami


The generality of asymmetric reproductive isolation between reciprocal crosses suggests that the evolution of isolation mechanisms often proceeds in reciprocal asymmetry. In hermaphroditic snails that copulate simultaneously and reciprocally, asymmetry in premating isolation may not be readily detectable because the failure of the symmetric performance of courtship would prevent copulation from occurring. On the other hand, through their prolonged copulation, snails discriminate among mates when exchanging spermatophores for their benefit and thus may exhibit asymmetric reproductive isolation during interspecific mating. However, no clear case of reciprocal asymmetry has been found in reproductive isolation between snail species. Here we show a discrete difference in hybridization success between simultaneous reciprocal copulations between two species of pulmonate snails. Premating isolation of Bradybaena pellucida (BP) and Bradybaena similaris (BS) is incomplete in captivity. In interspecific copulation, BP removes its penis without transferring a spermatophore, while BS sires hybrids by inseminating BP. Thus, ‘male’ BP or ‘female’ BS rejects the other individual, while female BP and male BS accept each other, so that the two sexes of either BP or BS oppose each other in mate discrimination. Our results are a clear example of asymmetry in reproductive isolation during simultaneous reciprocal mating between hermaphroditic animals

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: The Royal Society
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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