Heightened condition-dependent growth of sexually selected weapons in the rhinoceros beetle, Trypoxylus dichotomus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)

A. Johns, H. Gotoh, E. L. McCullough, D. J. Emlen, L. C. Lavine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The exaggerated weapons and ornaments of sexual selection are condition-dependent traits that often grow to exaggerated proportions. The horns of male rhinoceros beetles are extremely sensitive to the larval nutritional environment and are used by rival males in combat over access to females. In contrast to horns, other parts of the body, such as wings, eyes, and legs, scale proportionally with body size, whereas others, such as males' external genitalia, are invariant with body size, regardless of nutrition. We document how body parts of the Asian rhinoceros beetle, Trypoxylus dichotomus, exhibit plasticity and constraint in response to nutritional condition. We discuss the implications of these results for the evolution of condition-dependent and condition-independent traits in animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-621
Number of pages8
JournalIntegrative and Comparative Biology
Volume54
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

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