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Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina

Print version ISSN 0373-5680On-line version ISSN 1851-7471


BIDAU, Claudio J.; TAFFAREL, Alberto  and  CASTILLO, Elio R.. Breaking the rule: multiple patterns of scaling of sexual size dimorphism with body size in orthopteroid insects. Rev. Soc. Entomol. Argent. [online]. 2016, vol.75, n.1-2, pp.11-36. ISSN 0373-5680.

Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) although a widespread phenomenon among animals, is both enigmatic as to its proximate and ultimate causes and the scaling relationships between SSD and body size (Rensch's rule). We analyzed SSD at the intra- and interspecific levels in a number of representative species and genera of the major orthopteroid orders: Orthoptera, Phasmatodea, Mantodea, Blattodea, Dermaptera, Isoptera, and Mantophasmatodea. The vast majority of the species showed female biased SSD but numerous exceptions occur in cockroaches and earwigs. Rensch's rule and its converse are not common patterns at both, intra-and cross-species level, most species and genera showing an isometric relationship between male and female body sizes. In some but not all cases, the demonstrated allometric patterns could be related to geographic body size variation. We also showed that not all body size estimators produce the same degree of SSD and that dimorphism can be strongly influenced by a number of living conditions and the patterns of nymphal development. Finally, we discuss our results in relation to current models of the evolution of sexual size dimorphism in animals.

Keywords : Body size; Blattodea; Dermaptera; Mantodea; Mantophasmatodea; Morphometric traits; Orthoptera; Phasmatodea; Rensch's rule; Scaling.

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