Geographical variation in allometry in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata)


Camilla K. Egset, Department of Biology, Centre for Conservation Biology, University of Science and Technology (NTNU), NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway.
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Variation in static allometry, the power relationship between character size and body size among individuals at similar developmental stages, remains poorly understood. We tested whether predation or other ecological factors could affect static allometry by comparing the allometry between the caudal fin length and the body length in adult male guppies (Poecilia reticulata) among populations from different geographical areas, exposed to different predation pressures. Neither the allometric slopes nor the allometric elevations (intercept at constant slope) changed with predation pressure. However, populations from the Northern Range in Trinidad showed allometry with similar slopes but lower intercepts than populations from the Caroni and the Oropouche drainages. Because most of these populations are exposed to predation by the prawn Macrobrachium crenulatum, we speculated that the specific selection pressures exerted by this predator generated this change in relative caudal fin size, although effects of other environmental factors could not be ruled out. This study further suggests that the allometric elevation is more variable than the allometric slope.