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Sexual Size Dimorphism and Reproductive Investment by Female Spiders: A Comparative Analysis

John Prenter, Robert W. Elwood and W. Ian Montgomery
Evolution
Vol. 53, No. 6 (Dec., 1999), pp. 1987-1994
DOI: 10.2307/2640458
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2640458
Page Count: 8
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Sexual Size Dimorphism and Reproductive Investment by Female Spiders: A Comparative Analysis
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Abstract

We investigate the association between female reproductive investment, absolute size, and sexual size dimorphism in spiders to test the predictions of the fecundity-advantage hypothesis. The relationships between absolute size and sexual size dimorphism and aspects of female reproductive output are examined in comparative analyses using phylogenetically independent contrasts. We provide support for the idea that allometry for sexual dimorphism is the result of variation in female size more so than male size. Regression analyses suggest selection for increased fecundity in females. We argue that fecundity selection provides the only general explanation for the evolution of sexual size dimorphism in spiders.

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