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Sex, Size and Gender RolesEvolutionary Studies of Sexual Size Dimorphism$
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Daphne J. Fairbairn, Wolf U. Blanckenhorn, and Tamás Székely

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199208784

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208784.001.0001

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Sexual dimorphism in the water strider, Aquarius remigis: a case study of adaptation in response to sexually antagonistic selection

Sexual dimorphism in the water strider, Aquarius remigis: a case study of adaptation in response to sexually antagonistic selection

Chapter:
(p.97) Chapter 9 Sexual dimorphism in the water strider, Aquarius remigis: a case study of adaptation in response to sexually antagonistic selection
Source:
Sex, Size and Gender Roles
Author(s):

Daphne J. Fairbairn

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208784.003.0011

This chapter describes a series of studies examining the adaptive significance of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in the water strider, Aquarius remigis. The data reveal that SSD is negligible until the adult stage, and there is no evidence of sexual bimaturation, ecological niche divergence, or sex-specific selection prior to reproductive maturity. However, once maturity is reached, sexual selection favours longer genitalia but smaller soma in males, fecundity selection favors longer abdomens in females, and longevity selection favours smaller size in both sexes. These patterns lead to net stabilizing selection with both sexes near their optimal sizes. Patterns of genetic correlations indicate that the genetic architecture has evolved in response to this sex-specific selection, and would facilitate rapid response of SSD to changing patterns of selection. This may explain why SSD can be close to equilibrium in local populations in spite of strong between-sex genetic correlations for overall size.

Keywords:   adaptive significance, fecundity selection, genetic correlation, stabilizing selection, sexual selection

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