We build a spatial individual-based multilocus model of homoploid hybrid speciation tailored for a tentative case of hybrid origin of Heliconius heurippa from H. melpomene and H. cydno in South America. Our model attempts to account for empirical patterns and data on genetic incompatibility, mating preferences and selection by predation (both based on coloration patterns), habitat preference, and local adaptation for all three Heliconius species. Using this model, we study the likelihood of recombinational speciation and identify the effects of various ecological and genetic parameters on the dynamics, patterns, and consequences of hybrid ecological speciation. Overall, our model supports the possibility of hybrid origin of H. heurippa under certain conditions. The most plausible scenario would include hybridization between H. melpomene and H. cydno in an area geographically isolated from the rest of both parental species with subsequent long-lasting geographic isolation of the new hybrid species, followed by changes in the species ranges, the secondary contact, and disappearance of H. melpomene-type ecomorph in the hybrid species. However, much more work (both empirical and theoretical) is necessary to be able to make more definite conclusions on the importance of homoploid hybrid speciation in animals.
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Vol. 63 • No. 10