Genetic variance and covariance patterns of larval development in the small white butterflyPieris rapae crucivora Boisduval
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Quantitative genetic theory indicates that genetic covariance patterns among life history characters should have played an important role as genetic constraint in life history evolution. Highly positve (and negative) genetic correlations between larval development time (or larval growth rate) and adult size characters were detected by means of sib analysis for the small white butterflyPieris rapae crucivora. The genetic associations suggested that evolution of developmental characteristics and adult phenotypic traits were constrained by pleiotropy. The positive genetic correlations between development time and adult body size may be compatible with the trade-off between them, but the negative genetic correlations between larval growth rate and adult body size are not predicted from theories of optimal energy allocation. That phenotypic correlations drastically differed from the genetic correlations indicates limitations of evolutionary inferences based only on phenotypic variation.