Hybridization occurs between Drosophila simulans and D. sechellia in the Seychelles archipelago

D. R. Matute, J. F. Ayroles

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41 Scopus citations


Drosophila simulans and D. sechellia are sister species that serve as a model to study the evolution of reproductive isolation. While D. simulans is a human commensal that has spread all over the world, D. sechellia is restricted to the Seychelles archipelago and is found to breed exclusively on the toxic fruit of Morinda citrifolia. We surveyed the relative frequency of males from these two species in a variety of substrates found on five islands of the Seychelles archipelago. We sampled different fruits and found that putative D. simulans can be found in a variety of substrates, including, surprisingly, M. citrifolia. Putative D. sechellia was found preferentially on M. citrifolia fruits, but a small proportion was found in other substrates. Our survey also shows the existence of putative hybrid males in areas where D. simulans is present in Seychelles. The results from this field survey support the hypothesis of current interbreeding between these species in the central islands of Seychelles and open the possibility for fine measurements of admixture between these two Drosophila species to be made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1068
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


  • Adaptation
  • Drosophila
  • Reproductive isolation
  • Speciation


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