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Homology of the internal sac components in the leaf beetle subfamily criocerinae and evolutionary novelties related to the extremely elongated flagellum

Authors

  • Yoko Matsumura,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Systematic Entomology, Department of Ecology and Systematics, Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
    • Department of Systematic Entomology (S311), Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-8589, Japan
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  • Kazunori Yoshizawa

    1. Laboratory of Systematic Entomology, Department of Ecology and Systematics, Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
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Abstract

Extremely elongated intromittent organs are found in a wide range of taxa, especially among insects. This phenomenon is generally thought to result from sexual selection, but it is predicted that limited storage space in the body cavity and the difficulty of using the elongated organs should have constrained the evolution of extreme elongation, neutralizing any selective advantage. Therefore, in groups with long intromittent organs, features that overcome these constraints may have evolved or coevolved together with intromittent organ elongation. Using a comparative morphological approach and outgroup comparisons, we identified potential constraints and key novelties that may neutralize such constraints in the leaf beetle subfamily Criocerinae. Observations of the internal sac structure throughout Criocerinae were performed. Comparing the results with preceding studies from outgroups, a ground plan of the criocerine internal sac was constructed. Our analysis also identified specific features that are always correlated with extreme elongation: the rotation of whole internal-sac sclerites and the possession of a pocket in which to store the elongated flagellum. The pocket is thought to be formed by the rotation of the sclerites, markedly altering internal sac shape from the criocerine ground plan. Onlythe clades that have acquired this derived state contain species with an elongated flagellum that distinctly exceeds the median lobe length. It is presumed that these character correlations evolved independently three times. The detected character correlations corroborate the hypothesis that there are latent adaptive constraints for the evolution of extremely elongated intromittent organs. The constraints may have been neutralized by the alteration from the criocerine ground plan resulting in the formation of a storage pocket. In conclusion, deviation from the criocerine ground plan isconsidered to be the evolutionary innovation that neutralized the latent adaptive constraints of flagellum elongation in the subfamily Criocerinae. J. Morphol., 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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