Body Size Measurements (body + size_measurement)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Body size and the timing of egg production in parasitoid wasps: a comparative analysis

M. A. Jervis
Summary 1.,The ovigeny index, previously identified as both a significant fitness variable in parasitoid wasps and an important factor in parasitoid,host population dynamics, is the proportion of the maximum potential lifetime complement of eggs that is mature when the female emerges into the environment following pupal development. We tested the hypothesis that ovigeny index varies with female body size in parasitoid wasps. Body size measurements were obtained for 40 species in 13 families, representing a broad taxonomic and morphological diversity of parasitoid wasps. There was an almost 18-fold difference in size between the smallest and the largest species. 2.,Ovigeny index is shown to be negatively correlated with body size across species , smaller wasps have a higher proportion of eggs mature at emergence than do larger wasps , a result supporting the hypothesis. This relationship has previously been observed within species. 3.,The previously reported cross-species negative correlation between life-span and ovigeny index is robust, as it still holds when variation in body size is controlled for. 4.,We discuss the likely selective factors in the evolution of a link between ovigeny index and body size across species. [source]

Manipulation of offspring number and size: benefits of large body size at birth depend upon the rearing environment

Tuula A. Oksanen
Summary 1Allocation of reproductive effort between the number and size of offspring determines the immediate rearing environment for the growing young. As the number of offspring increases, the amount of parental investment per individual offspring decreases, and the quality of the rearing environment is expected to decrease. This may result in a lower quality of offspring reared in such conditions. 2We studied the effects of the rearing environment on the quality of juvenile bank voles, Clethrionomys glareolus, with different initial body sizes at birth in a 2 2 factorial experiment. The rearing environment was manipulated by enlarging both the litter size by two extra pups, and mean offspring body size at birth by replacing the original litter with heavier pups from smaller litters. Offspring quality was estimated from body size measurements, parasitic infection with Eimeria spp. and the level of immune response to a novel antigen. 3The analyses revealed that large body size at birth was an advantage in ,normal' rearing environments, but a disadvantage in poor ones. The initially normal sized offspring grown in enlarged litters had a relatively good capacity for growth and high immune function confirming that a poor rearing environment alone does not reduce their quality. 4Our findings that the benefits of large body size depend on the rearing environment suggest that offspring body size is adjusted in relation to litter size, and thus the evolution of these two traits is combined. [source]

Evidence for selection on coloration in a Panamanian poison frog: a coalescent-based approach

Jason L. Brown
Abstract Aim, The strawberry poison frog, Oophaga pumilio, has undergone a remarkable radiation of colour morphs in the Bocas del Toro archipelago in Panama. This species shows extreme variation in colour and pattern between populations that have been geographically isolated for < 10,000 years. While previous research has suggested the involvement of divergent selection, to date no quantitative test has examined this hypothesis. Location, Bocas del Toro archipelago, Panama. Methods, We use a combination of population genetics, phylogeography and phenotypic analyses to test for divergent selection in coloration in O. pumilio. Tissue samples of 88 individuals from 15 distinct populations were collected. Using these data, we developed a gene tree using the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) d-loop region. Using parameters derived from our mtDNA phylogeny, we predicted the coalescence of a hypothetical nuclear gene underlying coloration. We collected spectral reflectance and body size measurements on 94 individuals from four of the populations and performed a quantitative analysis of phenotypic divergence. Results, The mtDNA d-loop tree revealed considerable polyphyly across populations. Coalescent reconstructions of gene trees within population trees revealed incomplete genotypic sorting among populations. The quantitative analysis of phenotypic divergence revealed complete lineage sorting by colour, but not by body size: populations showed non-overlapping variation in spectral reflectance measures of body coloration, while variation in body size did not separate populations. Simulations of the coalescent using parameter values derived from our empirical analyses demonstrated that the level of sorting among populations seen in colour cannot reasonably be attributed to drift. Main conclusions, These results imply that divergence in colour, but not body size, is occurring at a faster rate than expected under neutral processes. Our study provides the first quantitative support for the claim that strong diversifying selection underlies colour variation in the strawberry poison frog. [source]

Distribution and phenology of ixodid ticks in southern Zambia

N. Speybroeck
Abstract Distribution data for epidemiologically important ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) in the Southern Province of Zambia, one of the main cattle areas of the country, are presented. Boophilus microplus (Canestrini) was not recorded in southern Zambia, whereas Boophilus decoloratus (Koch) is present throughout the area. New distribution patterns for less economically important ixodid ticks are also discussed. Southern Zambia is a transition zone because it is the most northern area in Africa where mixed Rhipicephalus appendiculatus Neumann and Rhipicephalus zambeziensis Walker, Norval & Corwin populations were reported. Although a second generation of adult R. appendiculatus/R. zambeziensis was encountered, simulations indicated that this phenomenon is very rare in southern Zambia, mainly because of the colder temperatures during the early dry season and lower rainfall. These simulations were supported by a development trial under experimental conditions. Tick body size measurements showed that southern Zambian ticks are larger than eastern Zambian R. appendiculatus. It is hypothesized that body size is related to diapausing intensity in this species. The epidemiological consequences are that a different approach to control Theileria parva (Theiler) (Piroplasmida: Theileriidae) and other tick-borne diseases is needed in southern Zambia, compared to the one adopted in eastern Zambia. [source]