MRE Symonds, MA Elgar (2004) Species overlap, speciation and the evolution of aggregation pheromones in bark beetles. Ecology Letters 7: 202-212.

What’s it about?

We showed that divergence in aggregation pheromone composition in bark beetles could be, to a limited extent, related to character divergence in sympatry, providing evidence for reinforcement driving apart chemical signals.

What’s the story behind it?

The companion paper to Symonds & Elgar (2004a), which came about largely through a suggestion of a reviewer for that other paper, but through the strange way things happen, actually resulted in this paper being published first. We got a lot of really helpful advice on this paper from Murray Littlejohn, one of the eminence grises of evolutionary biology of speciation. This paper also probably received one of the nicest comments from a handling editor I’ve ever received “this is truly an impressive piece of work”.

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