Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

El tamaño del cuerpo y la selección sexual en Heliconius charitonius y Heliconius melpomene (Lepidoptera : Nymphalidae)

Creator

Megan Petrie

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Publication Date

May 2007

Abstract

The role played by body size in sexual selection was investigated in captive populations of Heliconius charitonius and Heliconius melpomene butterflies. Mean fore-wing lengths of the entire population were compared to those of individuals participating in mating and pre-mating behaviors. It was predicted that because fitness in butterflies often increases with size (Klingenberg and Spence 1997), Heliconius spp. should choose larger mates. Sexes did not differ in size for either species (H. charitonius: Males = 41.14 mm ± 2.41, n = 57; Females = 41.28 mm ± 3.40, n = 48. H. melpomene: Males = 36.29 mm ± 2.54, n = 30; Females = 36.01 ± 1.82, n = 38). Moreover, there were no differences in size for any of the precopulatory behaviors seen compared to those for the general populations. No evidence of assortative mating was found when comparing pairs of males and females in later stages of courtship (p = 0.622, R2 = 0.0193, n = 30). Matings were infrequent, but showed no size difference except for H. melpomene males, who were significantly smaller (34.45 mm ± 1.79, n = 13, t = 2.714, p =0.011, d.f. = 32). Therefore, mating in these two species of Heliconius seems to be independent of body size. Perhaps body size does not impact fitness, or other factors, such as chemical defense, agility or age are more important fitness indicators in these species. Se investigó el papel del tamaño del cuerpo en la selección sexual investigado en poblaciones cautivas de las mariposas de la especie Heliconius charitonius y Heliconius melpomene. Comparé los promedios de las longitudes de las alas de todas las mariposas que estaban apareando y que tuvieron un comportamiento de cortejo.

Keywords

Nymphalidae, Natural selection, Seleccion natural, Sexual selection in animals, Seleccion sexual en animales, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde, CIEE Spring 2007, CIEE Primavera 2007

Description

Student Affiliation : Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder Born Digital

Subject: topical

Nymphalidae; Natural selection; Seleccion natural; Sexual selection in animals; Seleccion sexual en animales; CIEE Spring 2007; CIEE Primavera 2007

Subject: geographic

Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone; Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde

Genre

Reports

Holding Location

|Monteverde Institute MVI

Identifier

M39-00388

Body size and sexual selection in Heliconius charitonius and Heliconius melpomene (Lepidoptera  :  Nymphalidae)

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