Female dimorphism in Japanese diving beetle Dytiscus marginalis czerskii (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae) evidenced by mitochondrial gene sequence analysis


Toshio Inoda, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Toho University, Miyama 2-2-1, Funabashi, Chiba 274-8510, Japan. Email: inoda@kxb.biglobe.ne.jp


Three species of the Japanese diving beetle Dytiscus have been identified: D. dauricus Gebler, 1832; D. marginalis czerskii Zeitzev, 1953; and D. sharpi. At present, the latter consists of the subspecies D. sharpi sharpi Wehncke, 1875 and D. sharpi validus Régimbart, 1899 based on the comparative data of mitochondrial DNA cytochrome-c oxidase I (COI) sequences. Many Dytiscus species have smooth and grooved elytra, which are female dimorphic traits. For many years it has been thought that Japanese D. marginalis czerskii has a single morph, that is, only grooved females, although there were some collecting reports of smooth females occurring at the foot of Mt. Chokaisan in Yamagata and Akita Prefectures. However, the population of smooth females (smooth population) has not yet been identified by DNA markers. To understand the species status of the smooth population, we sequenced 769 bp of COI of a male derived from a smooth mother insect and compared it with the sequence from a known grooved female. The sequences of 769 bp of the COI gene in the smooth population were identical to that in the grooved female, indicating that Japanese D. marginalis czerskii has female dimorphic traits.