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Behavioral Variation in Natural Populations. II. The Inheritance of a Feeding Response in Crosses Between Geographic Races of the Garter Snake, Thamnophis elegans
Stevan J. Arnold
Vol. 35, No. 3 (May, 1981), pp. 510-515
Published by: Society for the Study of Evolution
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2408198
Page Count: 6
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An analysis of a slug-eating response by naive, newborn garter snakes provides a particularly clear example of geographic variation in behavior with a genetic basis. Feeding responses were recorded for three parental populations and their F1 progeny: behaviors were scored in a total of 1,531 snakes. Populations that are sympatric with slugs show the highest incidence of slug-eating snakes (68-85%), while in an allopatric population the incidence is only 17%. Thus the geographic variation in this behavior is undoubtedly maintained by selection. The behavior is congenital and stable. Crosses between populations indicate at least partial dominance for slug-refusal but the number of loci involved is unknown. Reciprocal F1 progeny show the same incidence of slug-eating (19-32%) and give no indication of maternal effects.
Evolution © 1981 Society for the Study of Evolution