Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 261–272 | Cite as

Reversed sexual size dimorphism in microtines: Are females larger than males or are males smaller than females?

  • Søren Bondrup-Nielsen
  • Rolf Anker Ims


We analysed sexual size dimorphism for 21 populations of microtine rodents. Female to male size ratio varied considerably among populations from females significantly larger than males (ratio=1.18) to males larger than females (ratio=0.78). In a multiple regression analysis female to male home range size ratio explained 94% of the total variation in body size dimorphism and was the only one of eight independent variables that was selected in a stepwise regression procedure. When females are the larger sex, males have home range sizes much larger than females. We suggest that the relationship between home range size ratio and body weight size dimorphism reflects different selection pressures on males and females in competition for resources and mates.


Sexual selection sexual size dimorphism home range size mating system territoriality cost of locomotion Microtinae 


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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Søren Bondrup-Nielsen
    • 1
  • Rolf Anker Ims
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Division of ZoologyUniversity of OsloOslo 3Norway

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