Arthropods, 2017, 6(4): 107-116
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Sexual dimorphism and inter-individual variation in the rove beetle, Creophilus maxillosus L. (Col: Staphylinidae)

Mohammad Shahbaz, Gadir Nouri-Ganbalani
Department of Plant Protection, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran

Received 3 July 2017;Accepted 10 August 2017;Published 1 December 2017

Sexual selection is expected to drive phenotypic differences between conspecific male and females, a widespread phenomenon known as sexual dimorphism. At the same time, individuals may exhibit some degree of intra-sexual variation. We examined the sexual dimorphism and inter-individual variation in different body parts of Creophilus maxillosus L. (Col: Staphylinidae), a cosmopolitan rove beetle commonly found on carrion. Male C. maxillosus had significantly wider head and pronotum, longer mandibles, and more distant eyes than females. The head width was positively correlated to mandible length, which may reflect stronger adductor muscles and higher bite force in larger individuals. The allometry of traits can be examined by plotting the logarithms of that specific trait against the logarithm of body size and determining the slope (b) of the regression line. Isometry occurs when b=1, i.e. the ratio of given traits to body size remains constant across individuals. Negative allometry occurs when b<1, i.e. larger individuals have relatively smaller traits in relation to body size. Positive allometry occurs when b>1, so that larger individuals have disproportionately larger traits. A positive allometry was found in head width (b=1.32), mandible length (b=2.28), and ocular distance (b=1.49) of males. Our results show that, particularly head size, mandible length and ocular distance are probably under sexual selection in males, while traits such as eye size are isometric to body size. The potential role of these traits in male-male combat as well as female attractiveness has been frequently documented in different insect taxa. The striking similarities in patterns of sexual dimorphism among independently evolved insects indicate that common evolutionary force(s) are probably at work.

Keywords Creophilus maxillosus;sexual dimorphism;mandible length;head width;allometry;interindividual variation.

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