Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma woodhouseii) comprises 7 subspecies, ranging from the Rocky Mountains to southern Mexico. We quantified the phenotype of specimens throughout Mexico and found support for significant phenotypic differences between “Sumichrast's group” in southern Mexico (A. w. sumichrasti and A. w. remota) and the 2 subspecies in northern Mexico, or “Woodhouse's group” (A. w. grisea and A. w. cyanotis). Despite significant differentiation in body size and mantle color, we found no clear geographic boundary between the groups, suggesting either a geographic cline or hybridization upon secondary contact. We tested for selection against hybridization by fitting models to geographic clines for both body size and back color, and found support for a stable contact zone centered near Mexico City, with selection against intermediate back color. Based on these results, we infer that Sumichrast's and Woodhouse's groups diverged during a period of geographic and genetic isolation. The phenotypic introgression between Sumichrast's and Woodhouse's groups near Mexico City likely represents a case of recent secondary contact, with selection against hybridization maintaining a geographically stable contact zone.
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Vol. 136 • No. 2