Journal of Undergraduate Research


diverging predation environment, live bearing fish, fish


Life Sciences




Our study takes advantage of a unique species pair within Brachyrhaphis, Brachyrhaphis roseni and B. terrabensis,, which provides insight into how divergence proceeds once speciation is complete. Brachyrhaphis roseni and B. terrabensis are sister species that occur in the same river drainages throughout northwestern Panama. A similar pattern occurs between these two species as occurs within other species of Brachyrhaphis, such that B. roseni lives in the presence of ambush predators (e.g., Hoplias microlepis and Gobiomorus dormitor) in lower elevation streams, and B. terrabensis, lives in largely predator-free, higher elevation streams. Therefore, using B. roseni and B. terrabensis as a model system, we are able to test whether patterns of divergence that have been documented within species occur in a similar way in between species comparisons, thus providing insight into the progression of behavioral divergence post-speciation.

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