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Biogeography of Intraspecific Morphological Variation in the Bush Crickets Decticus verrucivorus (L.) and D. albifrons (F.) (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae)

M. J. Samways and K. Harz
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 9, No. 3 (May, 1982), pp. 243-254
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2844667
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2844667
Page Count: 12
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Biogeography of Intraspecific Morphological Variation in the Bush Crickets Decticus verrucivorus (L.) and D. albifrons (F.) (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae)
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Abstract

Decticus verrucivorus and D. albifrons are two large bush crickets that have been collected extensively across Europe, Asia and North Africa since the 1840s. D. verrucivorus is a northerly species compered to albifrons. From a large number of specimens deposited in European museum, it was possible to speculate, from the morphometrics, on the gene flow and relative degree of isolation of some of the populations. D. verrucivorus shows conservative morphology across NW Europe (including Britain) suggesting only recent separation of the component populations across the area. In SE Europe and Italy, the mountain ranges and plains have caused considerable fragmentation of the species into several distinct morphological forms. Certain characteristic froms have arisen in different areas possibly arising out of similar selection pressures in diverse areas. D. albifrons morphology is less variable than that of verrucivorus. There seems to have been recent gene flow between Italy, Sicily and N. Africa. however, albifrons on certain islands (e.g. Lipari and Canaries) seems to have been isolated for some time from adjacent mainland populations. Correlations of morphology with latitude or longitude showed that with increasing eastward continentality the femur, tegmina and ovipositor of verrucivorus were longer. Body size and ovipositor length of this species increased to the south. The only significant trend in the more conservative morphology of albifrons was an increase in ovipositor length to the east.

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