Faculty Research & Creative Activity

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Publication Date

January 1990


The limited studies addressing developmental stability of interspecific hybrids suggest a positive association between the level of fluctuating asymmetry and 1) the degree of divergence between parental species, and 2) the recency of the contact zone. To evaluate these associations, we examined asymmetry in a recentlyestablished hybrid population of treefrogs (Hyla cinerea and H. gratiosa) that show marked structural gene divergence. Fluctuating asymmetry (FA), directional asymmetry, and antisymmetry were assessed for eight paired osteometric traits in allozymically-defined parental and hybrid categories. FA levels varied considerably among traits. Nonetheless, for any given trait, the hybrid categories did not demonstrate elevated levels of FA compared to the parental categories, or compared to frogs from a non-hybridizing parental population. The only trait that differed statistically among categories (pterygoid length) involved a significantly lower FA value for the Fl hybrids. Thus, observed FA values do not support expectations that the hybrid categories should experience decreased developmental stability.

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