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Evolution of male dimorphic allometry in a population of the Japanese horned beetle Trypoxylus dichotomus septentrionalis

Abstract

I conducted a detailed morphological analysis of the Japanese horned beetle Trypoxylus dichotomus septentrionalis to clarify the allometric relationship between horn length and body size and examined its mating success and reproductive behaviour in the field. The relationship between horn and body size was not discontinuous at the switch point body size, but the slope of the linear relationship changed at the switch point. Shape of the allometric relationship was initially steep and became flatten around the switch point in both linear and log scales; that is, minor males showed a positive relationship and major males showed a negative one. Major males gained more mating success than minor males. Within major males, individuals with larger horn or body size had higher mating success than individuals with smaller ones. Within minor males there were no differences in horn and body size between mated and unmated individuals. Although sneak-like behaviours were exhibited by both morphs, it is likely that these behaviours rarely lead to direct benefit. These results suggest that dimorphic allometry of T. dichotomus is consistent with the hypothesis of a continuous reaction norm that meets a ceiling, which restrains further allometric growth.

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Acknowledgements

I thank Drs. Michio Imafuku and Ken Yoda for their valuable advices on the manuscript. Especially, I thank Drs. Akira Mori, Douglas Emlen and Joseph Tomkins for their extremely helpful comments for improving the manuscript. I am also grateful to Dr. Simon Cook for his English corrections and Noriyoshi Sato for his assistance of field research. Field observations were conducted under the permission of Kamigamo Experimental Station of Field Science Education and Research Center, Kyoto University. This study was supported in part by a Grant for the Biodiversity Research of the 21st Century COE (A14).

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Correspondence to Yoshihito Hongo.

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Communicated by M. Siva-Jothy

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Hongo, Y. Evolution of male dimorphic allometry in a population of the Japanese horned beetle Trypoxylus dichotomus septentrionalis . Behav Ecol Sociobiol 62, 245–253 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-007-0459-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-007-0459-2

Keywords

  • Male dimorphism
  • Alternative reproductive behaviour
  • Allometry
  • Horned beetles