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Heterozygosity and Genetic Distance in Sibling Species of Meat Ants (Iridomyrmex purpureus Group)

R. B. Halliday
Evolution
Vol. 35, No. 2 (Mar., 1981), pp. 234-242
DOI: 10.2307/2407834
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2407834
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Heterozygosity and Genetic Distance in Sibling Species of Meat Ants (Iridomyrmex purpureus Group)
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Abstract

Meat ants (Iridomyrmex purpureus group) occur in at least eight recognizable color forms, which together occupy most areas of Australia. In areas where they are sympatric, some combinations of color forms have few or no alleles in common at a polymorphic allozyme locus (Amylase). This observation, together with other evidence, suggests that they are reproductively isolated, and should be recognized as different biological species. Five of the color forms have been surveyed for genetic variation at 15 enzyme and protein loci. The average level of heterozygosity was 3.8%, and an average of 11.8% of loci was polymorphic in each population. These values are similar to those found in many other species of Hymenoptera, but are unusually low when compared with other insects. The average genetic distance (Nei's D) between color forms was 0.06, indicating that genetic differentiation between them is very limited. Ecological and morphological divergence between color forms may have been prevented by intense competitive pressure from a large number of other ant species with which meat ants co-exist.

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