Sexual Dimorphism and Morphological Modularity in Acanthoscelides obtectus (Say, 1831) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae): A Geometric Morphometric Approach
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Sexual dimorphism and specific patterns of development contribute in a great manner to the direction and degree of the sexual differences in body size and shape in many insects. Using a landmark-based geometric morpohometrics approach, we investigated sex-specific morphological size and shape variation in the seed beetle, Acanthoscelides obtectus. We also tested the functional hypothesis of the two morphological modules—thorax and abdomen in both sexes. Female-biased sexual dimorphism in size was shown, while differences in shape were reflected in the wider thorax and abdomen and shorter abdomen in females in comparison to males. The functional hypothesis of a two-module body was confirmed only in females before correction for size, and in both sexes after the allometry correction. Our results indicate that reproductive function has the central role in forming the patterns of modularity. We hypothesize that high morphological integration of the abdomen in females results from intense stabilizing selection, while the more relaxed integration in males is driven by the higher intensity of sexual selection.
Keywords:Acanthoscelides obtectus; geometric morphometrics; sexual dimorphism; modularity; size; shape
Source:Insects, 2021, 12, 4, 350-
- Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Republic of Serbia, Grant no. 451-03-68/2020-14/200007 (University of Belgrade, Institute for Biological Research 'Siniša Stanković') (RS-200007)