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Sexual dimorphism in the earwig Labidura xanthopus (Dermaptera): a macroecological approach to patterns and process

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Solimary García Hernández
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Biociências (IBIOC/SB)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Glauco Machado; Gustavo Muniz Dias; Carlos Arturo Navas Iannini
Advisor: Glauco Machado

Sexual dimorphism varies considerably among populations within species. This variation in the direction and magnitude of sexual dimorphism is partially explained by sexual differences in phenotypically plastic responses to environmental conditions and resource availability. Laboratory experiments have already shown that temperature and food availability are important factors promoting inter-individual morphological variation and that their effects differ between males and females. We used individuals of the earwig Labidura xanthopus (Dermaptera) collected from 20 Brazilian localities to investigate how body size and weapon size of males and females vary across a natural temperature gradient. Body size decreased with increasing temperature, but sexual size dimorphism remained constant across the temperature gradient. For weapon size, we found a negative relationship for males and a positive relationship for females. Thus, the magnitude of sexual dimorphism in weapon size decreased across the temperature gradient. To understand the effect of food availability on the expression of morphological traits in each sex, we manipulated the diet of individuals from a tropical and temperate population. Regardless of the population, sexual dimorphism was caused by sex-differences in condition dependence. Males and females differed not only in the magnitude of their responses, but also in the direction. Regarding the relative length of the forceps, in particular, our results do not support the interpretation that the morphological variation observed in the field is explained by differences in food availability. Other factors not considered here, such as population density, may play an important role in determining weapon size variation in males and females under natural conditions. Finally, more experimental studies comparing populations with marked differences in environmental conditions may shed light on which ecological factors have favored the evolution of condition-dependent sexual dimorphism (AU)

FAPESP's process: 12/23135-6 - Inter-population variations in the sexual and intrasexual dimorphism in the earwig Labidura riparia (Dermaptera): a macroecological approach to patterns and process
Grantee:Solimary García Hernández
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master