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A uni- and multivariate analysis approach to reveal sexual size dimorphism in Iranian populations of Hypera postica (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

Sanaei, Ehsan, Seiedy, Marjan, Momtazi, Farzaneh
Biologia 2015 v.70 no.9 pp. 1228-1233
Hypera postica, alfalfa, body size, elytra, fecundity, females, insects, intraspecific variation, males, multivariate analysis, oviposition, pests, sexual dimorphism, sexual selection
Body size dimorphism between genders is a commonly observed phenomenon in insects, usually manifested in larger female body size. Sexual Size Dimorphism (SSD) varies from species to species, the degree and direction influenced by certain evolutionary pressures. Intraspecific variation in SSD may also occur between populations. The Hypera postica (Gyllenhal, 1813) is a well-known alfalfa plant pest that shows a degree of morphological divergence in its populations. The female alfalfa weevils are very fecund and have a larger body size compared to males. To improve our knowledge on magnitude and direction of SSD in alfalfa weevil, we studied 200 specimens of H. postica from four Iranian populations (Karaj1, Karaj2, Tuyserkan and Jovein). 10 morphological variables from three external anatomic parts (pronotum, elytra and rostrum) and 45 ratio characters were statistically analyzed in order to determine the amount of SSD in Iranian populations. In addition we investigated for morphological divergence pattern in mentioned populations. The results of this study show that a low degree of morphological divergence occurs in Iranian populations. Measured variables indicate that the SSD pattern of H. postica is compatible with the Rensch’s rule, and is related to high fecundity of females and a lack of strong sexual selection. Also it is mentioned that the larger rostrum in females may correspond to its unique role in egg laying.