Biased reproductive success of more than one distinct genotype rather than of otherwise random mixtures of alleles.

Also known as diversifying selection, disruptive selection is basically natural selection against intermediate types within a population. Another way of saying this is selection given disruptive selection is for phenotypic extremes.

Disruptive selection occurs when there is more than one distinct means by which something may be accomplished within an ecosystem, by a single population, but these solutions require distinct, that is, non-overlapping combinations of alleles. These solutions particularly can be for avoidance of predators through distinct coloration. The result of disruptive selection can be the achievement balanced polymorphisms.

Disruptive frequency-dependent selection, by contrast, is selection that results in loss of balanced polymorphisms. See also stabilizing frequency-dependent selection, disruptive selection, and directional selection.