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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Sexual Dimorphism and Size of Aedeagi in Apionid Weevils (Coleoptera: Apionidae) and Flea Beetles (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae): Why Some Masculine Males Have Small Aedeagi.

Authors
item Konstantinov, Alexander
item Korotyaev, Boris - ST.PETERSBURG, RUSSIA

Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 4, 2003
Publication Date: January 4, 2004
Citation: Konstantinov, A.S., Korotyaev, B.A. 2004. Sexual dimorphism and size of aedeagi in apionid weevils (coleoptera: apionidae) and flea beetles (coleoptera, chrysomelidae): why some masculine males have small aedeagi.. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 106: 324-338

Interpretive Summary: Flea beetles and weevils are among the largest and most morphologically diverse groups of plant eating beetles, containing thousands of species, some of which are important pests of cultivated plants, whereas others are highly beneficial as biological control agents of invasive weeds. This paper describes particular examples of sexually different forms which correlate with smaller and mechanically weaker male genitalia. The sexually different characters in our examples are likely to function as clasping (restraining) or copulatory courtship devices rather than male/male combat or precopulatory courtship devices. This study will be important to taxonomists, morphologists, evolutionary biologists, ecologists, and any other persons interested in beetles and their natural history.

Technical Abstract: A correlation between strongly developed sexually dimorphic external structures and the size and mechanical properties of male genitalia are described and illustrated in Trichoconapion Korotyaev (Coleoptera: Apionidae) and Normaltica Konstantinov (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Sexually dimorphic structures include legs and antennae in Trichoconapion and head and mouth parts in Normaltica. These sexually dimorphic characters in our examples are likely to function as clasping (restraining) or copulatory courtship devices rather than male/male combat or precopulatory courtship devices.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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