The study of speciation is concerned with understanding the connection between causes of divergent evolution and the origin and maintenance of barriers to gene exchange between incipient species. Although the field has historically focused either on examples of recent divergence and its causes or on the genetic basis of reproductive isolation between already divergent species, current efforts seek to unify these two approaches. Here we integrate these perspectives through a discussion of recent progress in several insect speciation model systems. We focus on the evolution of speciation phenotypes in each system (i.e., those phenotypes causally involved in reducing gene flow between incipient species), drawing an explicit connection between cause and effect (process and pattern). We emphasize emerging insights into the genomic architecture of speciation as well as timely areas for future research.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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