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Interspecific Recognition and Discrimination Based upon Olfactory Cues in Northern Swordtails

Deborah A. McLennan and Michael J. Ryan
Evolution
Vol. 53, No. 3 (Jun., 1999), pp. 880-888
DOI: 10.2307/2640728
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2640728
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.
Interspecific Recognition and Discrimination Based upon Olfactory Cues in Northern Swordtails
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Abstract

Female Xiphophorus montezumae were attracted to olfactory cues from conspecific and heterospecific (X. cortezi and X. nigrensis) males when given a choice between the stimulus and water. When given a choice between conspecific and heterospecific cues, females only demonstrated a strong preference for the conspecific stimulus when it was matched against X. nigrensis. Female X. nigrensis were attracted to olfactory cues from their close relative, X. cortezi, but did not respond to cues from the more distantly related X. montezumae. They preferred the scent of their own males to the olfactory cues of both heterospecific species. Our results indicate that X. cortezi and X. nigrensis share an apomorphic change in some aspect of their olfactory cue-receiver system that is not shared with X. montezumae. We also uncovered an asymmetry in response based on olfactory stimuli in these fishes: X. montezumae is moderately attracted to the cue from X. nigrensis, whereas X. nigrensis does not respond to the cue from X. montezumae at all.

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