Multivariate and geometric morphometrics in the analysis of sexual dimorphism variation in Podarcis lizards

Authors

  • Antigoni Kaliontzopoulou,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departament de Biologia Animal (Vertebrats), Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona 645,08028 Barcelona, Spain
    2. CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de Vairão, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
    • CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de Vairão, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
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  • Miguel A. Carretero,

    1. CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de Vairão, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
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  • Gustavo A. Llorente

    1. Departament de Biologia Animal (Vertebrats), Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona 645,08028 Barcelona, Spain
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Abstract

Podarcis bocagei and P. carbonelli are two closely related lacertid species, very similar morphologically and ecologically. We investigated sexual dimorphism patterns presented by both species in allopatry and in sympatry. Sexual size and shape dimorphism patterns were analyzed using both multivariate and geometric morphometric techniques. Multivariate morphometrics revealed a marked sexual dimorphism in both species—males being larger with more robust habitus and females presenting a longer trunk. General patterns of sexual size dimorphism are not modified in sympatry, although there is evidence for some morphological change in male head size. The application of geometric morphometrics offered a more detailed image of head shape and revealed that males present a more developed tympanic area than do females, while females have a more rounded head. Differences in the degree of sexual shape dimorphism were detected in sympatry, but no consistent patterns were observed. From the results of the study, and based on previous knowledge on the populations studied, we conclude that the morphological differences observed are probably not caused by exploitative competition between the species, but rather appear attributable to the modification of the relative influence of sexual and natural selection on both sexes. J. Morphol., 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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