, Volume 100, Issue 8, pp 801–804 | Cite as

Population-level mating patterns and fluctuating asymmetry in swordtail hybrids

Short Communication


Morphological symmetry is a correlate of fitness-related traits or even a direct target of mate choice in a variety of taxa. In these taxa, when females discriminate among potential mates, increased selection on males should reduce fluctuating asymmetry (FA). Hybrid populations of the swordtails Xiphophorus birchmanni and Xiphophorus malinche vary from panmictic (unstructured) to highly structured, in which reproductive isolation is maintained among hybrids and parental species. We predicted that FA in flanking vertical bars used in sexual signalling should be lower in structured populations, where non-random mating patterns are observed. FA in vertical bars was markedly lower in structured populations than in parental and unstructured hybrid populations. There was no difference in FA between parentals and hybrids, suggesting that hybridisation does not directly affect FA. Rather, variation in FA likely results from contrasting mating patterns in unstructured and structured populations.


Xiphophorus Hybridisation Population structure Mating patterns 

Supplementary material

114_2013_1072_MOESM1_ESM.doc (532 kb)
ESM 1(DOC 532 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Investigaciones BiológicasUniversidad Autónoma del Estado de HidalgoPachucaMexico
  2. 2.Centro de Investigaciones Cientificas de las Huastecas AguazarcaCalnaliMexico
  3. 3.Department of BiologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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