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Bat genitalia: allometry, variation and good genes.


Lüpold, S; McElligott, A G; Hosken, D J (2004). Bat genitalia: allometry, variation and good genes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 83(4):497-507.

Abstract

Male genitalia are typically highly variable across species, for which sexual selection is thought to be responsible. Sexually selected traits characteristically show positive allometry and high phenotypic variation, although genitalia seem to be typified by negative allometry due to stabilizing selection. Additionally, while sexual selection appears to be the primary force responsible for genital evolution, the precise mechanism is unclear, but good-genes selection could be involved. If so, male genital variation should correlate with some male quality measure(s). We investigated
the allometry of male Nyctalus noctula
genitalia and investigated associations between genital size and three phenotypic
measures of male quality (body size, relative body mass, and fluctuating asymmetry (FA)). We found that the penis exhibited positive allometry and high phenotypic variation, and was positively associated with male body size
and relative body mass, but not with FA. This pattern is more typical of sexually selected display traits, contrasting with general patterns of genital allometry. The baculum was negatively allometric and was not associated with any quality measure. Our results suggest that the N. noctula
penis is under directional sexual selection and is a reliable indicator of male phenotypic quality.

Abstract

Male genitalia are typically highly variable across species, for which sexual selection is thought to be responsible. Sexually selected traits characteristically show positive allometry and high phenotypic variation, although genitalia seem to be typified by negative allometry due to stabilizing selection. Additionally, while sexual selection appears to be the primary force responsible for genital evolution, the precise mechanism is unclear, but good-genes selection could be involved. If so, male genital variation should correlate with some male quality measure(s). We investigated
the allometry of male Nyctalus noctula
genitalia and investigated associations between genital size and three phenotypic
measures of male quality (body size, relative body mass, and fluctuating asymmetry (FA)). We found that the penis exhibited positive allometry and high phenotypic variation, and was positively associated with male body size
and relative body mass, but not with FA. This pattern is more typical of sexually selected display traits, contrasting with general patterns of genital allometry. The baculum was negatively allometric and was not associated with any quality measure. Our results suggest that the N. noctula
penis is under directional sexual selection and is a reliable indicator of male phenotypic quality.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Zoology (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:November 2004
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:14
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0024-4066
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8312.2004.00407.x

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