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Aggression, Density, and Sexual Dimorphism in Chernetid Pseudoscorpions (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpionida)
David W. Zeh
Vol. 41, No. 5 (Sep., 1987), pp. 1072-1087
Published by: Society for the Study of Evolution
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409192
Page Count: 16
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The determinants of sexual dimorphism in a family of false scorpions (Pseudoscorpionida: Chernetidae) were investigated experimentally and with a literature analysis of comparative morphometric and habitat data. Species vary in the extent to which males and females differ in size of the pedipalps, and, in particular, in size of the pedipalpal chelae. A statistical analysis of dimorphism patterns within the Chernetidae suggests that dimorphism is a highly variable condition, relatively unconstrained by phylogenetic influences. The evolution of species with enlarged male pedipalps appears to be associated with a change from nonpairing to pairing sperm-transfer behavior and with aggressive mate acquisition by males. Experiments with Dinocheirus arizonensis demonstrate a strong correlation between male combat ability and chela size. Manipulations also suggest that superior combat ability of large males results in increased mating success only under high-density conditions. The greater success in spermatophore transfer among large males can be attributed to increased opportunity at high density for large males to interrupt matings and aggressively displace smaller males. Comparative analysis showed a positive correlation between density and enlarged male chela size across chernetid species.
Evolution © 1987 Society for the Study of Evolution