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Genome-wide and cuticular hydrocarbon evidence shed light on potential drivers of speciation in a Neotropical ant species complex
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  • Rubi Meza-Lázaro,
  • Kenzy Peña-Carrillo,
  • Chantal Poteaux,
  • Maria Lorenzi,
  • James Wetterer,
  • Alejandro Zaldivar-Riveron
Rubi Meza-Lázaro
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Kenzy Peña-Carrillo
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Chantal Poteaux
Université Sorbonne Paris Nord
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Maria Lorenzi
Université Sorbonne Paris Nord
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James Wetterer
Florida Atlantic University Harriet L Wilkes Honors College
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Alejandro Zaldivar-Riveron
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
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Reproductive isolation between geographically separated populations is generally considered the most common form of speciation. However, speciation may also occur in the absence of geographic barriers due phenotypic and genotypic factors such as chemical cue divergence, mating signal divergence and mitonuclear conflict. Here we performed an integrative study based on two genome-wide techniques, 3RAD and ultraconserved elements, coupled with cuticular hydrocarbon and mtDNA sequence data, to assess the species limits within the E. ruidum species-complex, a widespread and conspicuous group of Neotropical ants for which heteroplasmy has been recently discovered in some populations from southeast Mexico. Our analyses indicate the existence of at least five distinct species in this complex, two widely distributed along the Neotropics and three that are restricted to southeast Mexico and that apparently have high levels of heteroplasmy. We found that species boundaries in the complex did not coincide with geographic barriers. We therefore consider possible roles of alternative drivers that may have promoted the observed patterns of speciation, including mitonuclear incompatibility, cuticular hydrocarbon differentiation, and colony structure. Our study highlights the importance of simultaneously assessing different sources of evidence to disentangle the species limits of taxa with complicated evolutionary histories.
09 Oct 2021Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
13 Oct 2021Submission Checks Completed
13 Oct 2021Assigned to Editor
14 Oct 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
08 Nov 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
22 Nov 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
02 Feb 20221st Revision Received
03 Feb 2022Submission Checks Completed
03 Feb 2022Assigned to Editor
03 Feb 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
07 Feb 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
18 Feb 2022Editorial Decision: Accept