Hasumi, M.: Age, body size, and sexual dimorphism in size and shape in Salamandrella keyserlingii (Caudata: Hynobiidae). Evolutionary Biology (USA, International) 37(1): 38-48, March 2010. doi: 10.1007/s11692-010-9080-9 SN SharedIt

Abstract: In organisms with determinate growth, sexual size dimorphism (SSD) occurs before maturity during the developmental process of growing apart, an ontogenetic perspective on the evolution of SSD. If the direction of SSD (female-larger SSD) is known, patterns of growth can be tested with one-tailed statistical distributions. In indeterminate growing organisms as well, does SSD occur before maturity? If it occurs, whether is females' larger mean body size caused by a difference in age at maturity, age-specific size, divergent growth prior to maturity, or selection on post-maturational growth? How important is biphasic, sexual shape dimorphism (BSSD) for determinants of SSD? Biphasic characteristics are those that differ between adult aquatic- and terrestrial-phase morphs, and shape is size of a characteristic relative to body size. To address those questions, I determined age and body size based on a careful description of a growth trajectory for each sex in Salamandrella keyserlingii, using 555 independent data points from skeletochronological studies. Females reached maturity at 3-4 years of age, a year later than males that reached maturity at 2-3 years of age (mean body size: males = 57.63 mm, females = 61.70 mm; delayed sexual maturity resulted in SSD). However, SSD was highly detected before maturity (SSD index = 0.097), and females after maturity continued to grow and resulted in larger asymptotic size than males. Traits of BSSD were greater in males than in females. These results suggest that when determining SSD the difference in mean adult-body size results from the difference in age-specific size and the female-larger SSD develops to resolve intersexual ontogenetic conflict by allowing small-sized males to swell their whole body during the aquatic phase as much as large-sized females.

Copyright 2010 Masato Hasumi, Dr. Sci. All rights reserved.
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