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Biology 1

Lecture 12

What is a species?

Lecture 12
Species Concepts

What is a species?

Concept of a Species

What is a species?

Arius manillensis

Arius dispar

Morphological Species Concept

physical appearance - to identify species
gaps in morphology to delimit species
used by Linnaeus when he developed the
binomial system of naming organisms
criterion can be extended to ecology, behavior
or genetics
Santos BS, Quilang JP. 2012. Geometric Morphometric Analysis of Arius manillensis and
Arius dispar (Siluriformes: Ariidae) Populations in Laguna de Bay, Philippines. Philippine
Journal of Science 14(1): 1 11.

JP Quilang

Biology 1

Lecture 12

Arius dispar|HQ682612
Arius manillensis|HQ682620
Arius manillensis|HQ682624
Arius dispar|HQ682606
Arius dispar|HQ682608

67 Arius dispar 10

A. dispar &
A. manillensis


Arius dispar 9
Arius dispar 8
Arius dispar 4
85 Arius dispar 1
Arius manillensis|HQ682619
Arius manillensis|HQ682615
Arius manillensis 6
43 Arius manillensis|HQ682617
Arius dispar 6
Arius dispar 2
Arius dispar 5
Arius dispar 7
Arius dispar|HQ682609
Arius manillensis|HQ682626
Arius manillensis|HQ682625
Arius manillensis|HQ682623
Arius manillensis|HQ682622
Arius manillensis 4
Arius manillensis 7
Arius dispar 3
Arius manillensis|HQ682616
Arius manillensis|HQ682621
Arius manillensis 3
Arius manillensis 5
Arius dispar|HQ682607
63 Arius manillensis 1
Arius manillensis 2

Intraspecific distance: A.
manillensis (0.6%), A.
dispar (0.5%)
Interspecific distance: 0.6%

Concept of a Species
appearance alone does not always define a
Example: eastern and western meadowlarks

A. subrostratus
Arius subrostratus|WL-M686

100 Arius subrostratus|WL-M687

Arius subrostratus|EU148555
Arius subrostratus|EU148556
Arius arius|EU148549


100 Arius arius|EU148548

Arius arius|WL-M663
Arius arius|WL-M664
Arius arius|WL-M665
Arius arius|EU148552
Arius arius|EU148551

66 Arius arius|WL-M666

A. arius

Arius arius|WL-M667

Quilang JP, Yu SCS. 2014. DNA barcoding of commercially important catfishes in the
Philippines. Mitochondrial DNA , doi:10.3109/19401736.2013.855897

Concept of a Species
Biological Species Concept
defines a species as a population or group of
populations whose members can interbreed
and produce fertile offspring

Eastern meadowlark
(Sturnella magna)

Western meadowlark
(Sturnella neglecta)

Reproductive Barriers Between Species

Prezygotic barriers
Postzygotic barriers

not applicable to fossils or asexual organisms

Prezygotic barrier: habitat isolation

Prezygotic barrier: temporal isolation

Populations live in different habitat and

do not meet

mating or flowering occurs at different

seasons or times of day

Water-dwelling Thamnophis atratus

Terrestrial Thamnophis elegans

JP Quilang

Eastern spotted skunk

(Spilogale putorius)
- Late winter

Western spotted skunk

(Spilogale gracilis)
- Late summer

Biology 1

Lecture 12

Prezygotic barrier: behavioral isolation

Prezygotic barrier: mechanical isolation

little or no sexual attraction between

males and females

structural differences in genitalia or

flower prevent copulation or pollination

Courtship ritual of blue-footed boobies

Bradybaena with shells spiraling in opposite directions

Prezygotic barrier: gametic isolation

Postzygotic barrier: hybrid inviability

male and/or female gametes die before

uniting or fail to unite

hybrid zygotes fail to develop or to reach

sexual maturity

Ensatina hybrid

Sea urchins

Postzygotic barrier: hybrid sterility

Postzygotic barrier: hybrid breakdown

hybrids fail to produce functional


offspring of hybrids are weak or infertile

Male Donkey
Female Horse

Mule (sterile hybrid)

JP Quilang

Hybrid cultivated rice plants with

stunted offspring (center)

Biology 1

Lecture 12

Concept of a Species

Concept of a Species

Evolutionary Species Concept

Cohesion Species Concept

a species is a single lineage of ancestordescendant populations that maintains its

identity from other such lineages and that it has
its own evolutionary tendencies and historical

cohesion mechanisms = gene flow, shared loss

of alleles through genetic drift, shared genetic

Concept of a Species

Concept of a Species

Phylogenetic Species Concept

Ecological Species Concept

defines a species as the smallest monophyletic

group on an evolutionary tree

Two Patterns of Speciation

Anagenesis is the
accumulation of
changes associated
with the
transformation of one
species into another.
evolution, is the
budding of one or
more new species
from a parent

JP Quilang

defines a species as the most inclusive

population of individuals having the potential
for phenotypic cohesion through intrinsic
cohesion mechanisms

defines a species by its ecological role

occupancy of an ecological niche

Modes of Speciation
Allopatric speciation
- among populations
living in two different
ranges or territories;
geographic isolation
leads to reproductive

Sympatric speciation
species living in the same
or overlapping ranges
adapt to different
ecological niches

Biology 1

Lecture 12

Modes of Speciation

Modes of Speciation
Peripatric speciation
is a special version of the allopatric speciation
happens when one of the isolated populations
has very few individuals

A. harrisi

A. leucurus

Allopatric speciation of antelope squirrels

(Ammospermophilus) on opposite rims of the Grand

Image from

Modes of Speciation
Parapatric speciation
the population is continuous, but, the population
does not mate randomly
individuals are more likely to mate with their
geographic neighbors than with individuals in a
different part of the populations range

Tempo of Speciation
gradualist model =
new species evolve
by the gradual
accumulation of
changes brought
about by natural

equilibrium model =
speciation occurs in

JP Quilang