Condition dependence of developmental stability in the sexually dimorphic fly Telostylinus angusticollis (Diptera: Neriidae)

Authors

  • R. BONDURIANSKY

    1. Evolution & Ecology Research Centre and School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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Russell Bonduriansky, Evolution & Ecology Research Centre and School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Tel.: +61(02) 9385 3439; fax: +61 (02) 9385 1558; e-mail: r.bonduriansky@unsw.edu.au

Abstract

Developmental stability is widely regarded as a condition-dependent trait, but its relation to genotype and environment, and extent of developmental integration, remain contentious. In Telostylinus angusticollis, the dorsocentral bristles exhibit striking variation in developmental stability, manifested as fluctuating asymmetry (FA) in bristle position (‘positional FA’) and failure to develop some bristles (‘bristle loss’), in natural and laboratory populations. To determine whether this variation reflects condition, I tested for effects of genotype and environment (larval diet quality), and examined covariation with condition-dependent traits. Positional FA was not affected by genotype or environment. However, positional FA covaried negatively with secondary sexual trait expression in males, and with sexual dimorphism in body shape, but covaried positively with body size in females. Bristle loss reflected both genotype and larval diet. Flies reared on poor-quality diet exhibited a similar rate of bristle loss as wild flies. Both positional FA and bristle loss were greater in males. These results suggest that the relation between developmental stability and condition is complex and sex dependent.

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