Sexual size dimorphism of bark and ambrosia beetles
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Size is a defining feature of an animal and is a result of counteracting forces of selection, and studying size and SSD can reveal what drives selection of body size in a given direction. Scolytinae and Platypodinae are diverse groups, representing many different mating systems and feeding strategies, and are for this reason interesting research subjects. The influence of mating systems, initiating sex, feeding type and initiating sex on evolution of size in species of bark and ambrosia beetles was investigated for nine species of ambrosia beetles and twelve species of bark beetles. Male biased SSD was found in all highly polygynous species of both bark and ambrosia beetles. In mildly polygynous and monogynous species, patterns were more diffuse, but in monogynous bark beetles there appeared to be a trend of female biased SSD. In several male initiated systems, where width of females is restricted, females were shown to evolve longer bodies than males. Ambrosia beetles had much less variation in the traits measured than did bark beetles, possibly caused by either tunneling practices or the more uniform resource quality of ambrosia beetles. Female initiated species of bark beetles were significantly wider than male initiated species, suggesting that male initiation limits evolution of body size.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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