Mating with the wrong species can be right

Trends Ecol Evol. 2008 Jun;23(6):289-92. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2008.03.001. Epub 2008 Apr 24.


The evolutionary importance of interspecific hybridisation has been a controversial issue for quite some time. Some view mating between different species as a maladaptive process; others stress the adaptive value of choosing heterospecific mates under ecological conditions that favour hybrids. A recent paper by Pfennig is the first study to make a priori predictions of how adaptive choice between con- and heterospecific partners should vary with ecological conditions, and then testing these predictions experimentally.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Bufonidae / genetics*
  • Bufonidae / physiology
  • Female
  • Hybridization, Genetic*
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Reproduction*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*