Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version


Document Type



Evolution 39:2 (March 1985), pp. 315–324.


Copyright 1985 Lawrence G. Harshman and Douglas J. Futuyma. Used by permission.


A survey of spatial and temporal variation in the frequency of electrophoretically defined genotypes in the geometrid moth Alsophila pometaria revealed a high diversity of uncommon or rare asexual genotypes and clinal distributions of two of the more common clones. There was substantial year-to-year variation in genotype frequencies in seven of eleven sites. Progeny tests have revealed that sexual reproduction is uncommon in two populations and that new asexual genotypes arise from the sexual population. The recurrent origin of asexual genotypes is likely to account for the high genetic and ecological diversity of the asexual contingent of this species’ populations, in contrast to the lower genetic diversity in some obligately asexual species in which such recruitment does not occur.