Female and male visually based mate preferences are consistent with reproductive isolation between populations of the Lake Malawi endemic Labeotropheus fuelleborni
Sexual selection via female mate choice is thought to have played a key role in the speciation of haplochromine cichlids, but a dominant role for visual signals in such processes has lately been called into question. In addition, the possible role of male mating preferences in haplochromine speciation has been little studied. We studied patterns of both female and male mate choice, based exclusively on visual signals, in order to evaluate potential reproductive isolation between two populations
... een two populations of the Lake Malawi haplochromine Labeotropheus fuelleborni. In the first experiment, females were allowed to choose between two males, one from the same population and the other allopatric with respect to the female. Females in this experiment responded more frequently to males from their own population. Similarly, the males in these trials displayed more frequently when presented with females of their own population. In the second experiment, a female was allowed to choose between two males, either both from her own population or both allopatric. In these trials, both males and females from the Katale population interacted significantly more frequently in settings in which all three individuals were from the same population ("same-population trios"), and those from the Chipoka population showed a similar trend. Thus, patterns in both male and female courtship behavior suggest that visual signals contribute to at least incipient reproductive isolation between populations of L. fuelleborni.