Interspecific body size differentiation in species assemblages of the carabid subgenus Ohomopterus in Japan
Geographic variation and interspecific differentiation in body size (body length) were analyzed for 15 species of the carabid subgenus Ohomopterus (genus Carabus; Coleoptera, Carabidae) in Japan. Local species assemblages of this subgenus consist of up to 5 species of different size classes. These beetles exhibited sexual dimorphism in body size where females are larger than males, except Carabus uenoi, in which the male and female sizes were equivalent, possibly because of the exaggerated male genitalia. In 9 of 15 species, there was a positive correlation between mean body size and annual mean temperature of habitat, representing the converse of Bergmann's rule. However, in some cases this correlation does not hold over the range of a species because of regional differences. When allopatric and sympatric populations were compared, allopatric populations of Carabus albrechti and C. japonicus had larger bodies than sympatric populations. These intraspecific differences may have resulted from character displacement. In each local assemblage with 2 or more species, there was little interspecific overlap of body size, although the body size ratio between two species with adjacent body sizes seldom showed strict constancy. The mean size ratio between 2 adjacent species in an assemblage was reduced with the number of species, whereas the size ratio of the largest to smallest species in an assemblage increased with the number of species (i.e., the expansion of body size range). These results indicate that the body size of Ohomopterus species may have evolved in response to both climatic conditions and interspecific interactions. Because each species or species group represents the same size class over the distribution range and similar-sized species are parapatric or allopatric, the interspecific segregation in body size in local assemblages may have resulted mainly from a size assortment process during colonization.
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