Recent comparative studies have revealed that the rapid diversity of genitalia is closely related to sexual selection and that genital development interacts with the development of different body parts. Hypotheses about developmental stability due to selection to genital parts were tested by estimating allometric relations in a sexually dimorphic stag beetle Prosopocoilus inclinatus. All genital parts of males scaled to body size with a slope of less than 1 and all but the median lobe (male intromittent organ) showed smaller variability than other body parts. This supported the 'one-size-fits-all' hypothesis, which suggests broad copulation opportunity by males of any size with females within a population. Nevertheless, we found large variation among different genital parts in coefficients of variation and in values of the switch point where the allometric relations varied significantly. These results strongly support the view that developmental trajectories of genital traits are not necessarily integrated. Among the genitalic traits, male intromittent organ and female genitalia exhibited large variability, suggesting a high responsiveness to the selective regimes and physical interaction during copulation. This may account for rapid diversification of genital morphology, even in closely-related populations in beetle species.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics