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Measuring Phenotypic Selection on an Adaptation: Lamellae of Damselflies Experiencing Dragonfly Predation

Mark A. McPeek
Evolution
Vol. 51, No. 2 (Apr., 1997), pp. 459-466
DOI: 10.2307/2411118
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2411118
Page Count: 8
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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.
Measuring Phenotypic Selection on an Adaptation: Lamellae of Damselflies Experiencing Dragonfly Predation
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Abstract

Previous studies suggest that the evolution of increased caudal lamellae size to increase swimming speed was an adaptation of Enallagma damselflies for coexisting with large, predatory dragonflies in fishless lakes. To test whether dragonfly predation still exerts selection pressures for increased lamellae size, I performed a field experiment in which I manipulated the abilities of dragonfly larvae to inflict mortality on Enallagma boreale larvae and compared differences in lamellae size and shape between treatments. In cages where dragonflies were free to forage on damselflies, surviving E. boreale larvae had lamellae that were larger in lateral surface area, and that were wider relative to their length, as compared with larvae recovered from treatments in which dragonflies were not permitted to forage on damselflies. Selection differentials of about 0.25 phenotypic standard deviation units were measured for both of these characters. These results indicate that dragonfly predation still exerts significant selection pressures on damselfly antipredator adaptations. The results of this study are discussed in the context of studies of adaptation.

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