Allometric and Non-Allometric Patterns in Sexual Dimorphism Discrimination of Wing Shape in Ophion intricatus: Might Two Male Morphotypes Coexist?
Oxford University Press -- Journal of Insect Science
DOI 10.1673/031.013.14301
  1. allometry
  2. geometric morphometrics
  3. sexual selection
  4. sexual shape dimorphism
  5. wasp

Bees and wasps could exhibit shape and size sexual dimorphism, and most of their morphological variation could depend on phenotypic responses due to environmental pressure during ontogenetic development. More complex measurement techniques related to size and shape rather than simply to mass and length should be required to analyze such a complex sexual dimorphism. In this study, differences related to wing shape and size of males and females of Ophion intricatus Brullé (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) were evaluated using geometric morphometrics. Right and left wings of specimens were used, and a photographic matrix was constructed in which 18 morphological landmarks based on shape and vein patterns of the wings were digitalized. A multivariate analysis of wing shape showed significant differences between sexes and sites. The geometric variation demonstrated that the points at the intersection of radial and cubital-anal veins might be key characters to differentiate between sexes. This study also showed the presence of two clearly different male morphotypes coexisting in the same study site. However, it should be noted that the results of this study showed that the variation in wing shape is an analytical character in the determination of sexual differences in the family Ichneumonidae. These differences raise the question of whether sexual dimorphism of wing shape may be modulated by natural selection.