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Dichroplus vittatus (Orthoptera: Acrididae) follows the converse to Bergmann's rule although male morphological variability increases with latitude

  • C.J. Bidau (a1) and D.A. Martí (a2)

Abstract

Geographic body size variation was analysed in males and females of 19 populations of the South American grasshopper Dichroplus vittatus Bruner spanning 20 degrees of latitude and 2700 m of altitude. Using mean and maximum body length of each sex and factors obtained from principal components analyses of six morphometric linear characters it was shown that D. vittatus followed the converse to Bergmann's rule latitudinally but not altitudinally where no significant trends were observed. For males, variability of body size increased with latitude but not with altitude. Both types of trends were significantly correlated with mean annual temperature and minimum annual temperature (positive correlations), and two estimators of seasonality, the coefficients of variation of mean annual temperature (negative) and mean annual precipitation (positive). Some allometric relationships also showed geographic variation. It is suggested that the observed decrease in size with latitude together with the increase in morphological variability is a consequence of a number of factors: the shortening of the growing season southwards; the increasing seasonality and climatic unpredictability; and the fact that the species exhibits protandry which contributes to smaller and more variable size in males and smaller but more constant body size in females.

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