Does allometry of a sexually selected ornamental trait vary with sexual selection intensity? A multi-species test in damselflies
- Ornaments may show hyperallometry in certain taxa, i.e. large individuals have proportionally larger ornaments than small ones. One hypothesis suggests that higher sexual selection intensity leads to steeper hyperallometric patterns.
- This study tested whether an ornamental trait subject to both intra- and intersexual selection showed steeper allometric slopes than when subject solely to intrasexual selection.
- The study employed the sexually selected male wing pigmentation of 14 calopterygid species (damselflies) that differ in sexual selection intensity (intrasexual selection versus intra- and intersexual selection).
- Hyperallometry was not a uniform pattern in the study species. Furthermore, the allometric slopes did not differ between sexual selection intensities. The allometry of ornamental traits is therefore highly variable even among related species. Other selection pressures – probably species-specific and at a local scale – acting on wing pigmentation might explain the diversity of allometric patterns.