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Pelvic Girdle Polymorphism and Reproductive Barriers in the Ninespine Stickleback Pungitius Pungitius (L.) From Northwest Russia

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Populations of the ninespine stickleback with the complete loss of the pelvic girdle are described from Russia. In some areas in northern Karelia, these populations are reproductively isolated from parapatric populations of the 'wild type' with pelvic girdle, while in adjacent areas, populations are polymorphic and have intermediate girdle phenotypes. This seems to reflect the initial stage of divergence. Experiments in large ponds show a selective advantage of the loss of the pelvic girdle under pressure from insects predators and a selective disadvantage under predatory fish. Mate choice tests indicate reproductive isolation between pelvic phenotypes.


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Affiliations: 1: (Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vavilov Str. 26, Moscow 117808, Russia


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