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One Size Fits All? Relationships Between the Size and Degree of Variation in Genitalia and Other Body Parts in Twenty Species of Insects and Spiders

William G. Eberhard, Bernhard A. Huber, Rafael Lucas Rodriguez S., R. Daniel Briceño, Isabel Salas and Viterbo Rodriguez
Evolution
Vol. 52, No. 2 (Apr., 1998), pp. 415-431
DOI: 10.2307/2411078
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2411078
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
One Size Fits All? Relationships Between the Size and Degree of Variation in Genitalia and Other Body Parts in Twenty Species of Insects and Spiders
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Abstract

Hypotheses regarding the function of elaborate male genitalia were tested in a sample of insects and spiders by comparing their allometric values (slopes in log-log regressions on indicators of body size) with those of other body parts. Male genitalia consistently had lower slopes than other body parts. Perhaps as a consequence of this pattern, genitalic size also tended, though less consistently, to have lower coefficients of variation than did the size of other body parts. The morphological details of coupling between males and females in several species clearly indicated that selection favoring mechanical fit is not responsible for these trends. Sexual selection on male courtship structures that are brought into contact with females in precise ways may favor relatively low allometric values, in contrast to the high values seen in the other sexually selected characters (usually visual display devices) that have been studied previously, because a female's own size will influence her perception of the contact courtship devices of a male.

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