The comparative evolutionary biology of the sibling species, Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans

Q Rev Biol. 1975 Jun;50(2):151-69. doi: 10.1086/408437.


1. D. melanogaster and D. simulans are sibling species; they are morphologically almost identical and genetically very similar. Whereas their sexual behavior patterns are qualitatively similar, hybrids are rarely produced and when they are, they are sterile. 2. Although not all data are in agreement, D. melanogaster generally exhibits more chromosomal, enzyme, and protein polymorphism than does D. simulans. Utilizing this relationship, as well as arguments presented in the literature, one can argue for an association between genetic variability and level of ecological heterogeneity. This association is found for two major environmental variables, temperature and light dependence. 3. On a seasonal basis, D. melanogaster achieves large population numbers early in the summer, as D. simulans does in the autumn...

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Body Water / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Drosophila / drug effects
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Environment
  • Ethanol / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Seasons
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal
  • Species Specificity
  • Temperature


  • Ethanol