A male spider's ornamentation polymorphism maintained by opposing selection with two niches

Bo Deng, Alex Estes, Brett Grieb, Douglas Richard, Brittney Hinds, Eileen Hebets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


The Levene mechanism to maintain genotypic polymorphism by opposing selection on genotypes in multiple niches was proposed 60. years ago, and yet no systems were found to satisfy the mechanism's rather restrictive conditions. Reported here is such an example that a wolf spider population lives in a habitat of mixed rocks and leafy litter for which the females are phenotypically indistinguishable and the males have two distinct phenotypes subject to opposing selection with respect to the substrates. Census data is best-fitted to a population genetics model of the Levene type. A majority of the best fit support polymorphism, with many fitted parameter values quantitatively consistent with various laboratory studies on two closely related species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Publication statusPublished - Sep 21 2014



  • Female choice
  • Population genetics model
  • S. ocreata
  • S. rovneri
  • Schizocosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

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