A hybrid zone between the grasshoppers Chorthippus brunneus and C. jacobsi (Orthoptera: Acrididae) in northern Spain has been analyzed for variation in morphology and ecology. These species are readily distinguished by the number of stridulatory pegs on the hind femur. Both sexes are fully winged and inhabit disturbed habitats throughout the study area. We develop a maximum-likelihood approach to fitting a two-dimensional cline to geographical variation in quantitative traits and for estimating associations of population mean with local habitat. This method reveals a cline in peg number approximately 30 km south of the Picos de Europa Mountains that shows substantial deviations in population mean compared with the expectations of simple tension zone models. The inclusion of variation in local vegetation in the model explains a significant proportion of the residual variation in peg number, indicating that habitat-genotype associations contribute to the observed spatial pattern. However, this association is weak, and a number of populations continue to show strong deviations in mean even after habitat is included in the final model. These outliers may be the result of long-distance colonization of sites distant from the cline center or may be due to a patchy pattern of initial contact during postglacial expansion. As well as contrasting with the smooth hybrid zones described for Chorthippus parallelus, this situation also contrasts with the mosaic hybrid zones observed in Gryllus crickets and in parts of the hybrid zone between Bombina toad species, where habitat-genotype associations account for substantial amounts of among-site variation.
Corresponding Editor: M. Noor