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Data from: Phylogeny suggests non-directional and isometric evolution of sexual size dimorphism in argiopine spiders

Citation

Cheng, Ren-Chung; Kuntner, Matjaž (2014), Data from: Phylogeny suggests non-directional and isometric evolution of sexual size dimorphism in argiopine spiders, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3c025

Abstract

Sexual dimorphism describes substantial differences between male and female phenotypes. In spiders, sexual dimorphism research almost exclusively focuses on size, and recent studies have recovered steady evolutionary size increases in females, and independent evolutionary size changes in males. Their discordance is due to negative allometric size patterns caused by different selection pressures on male and female size (converse Rensch's rule). Here, we investigated macroevolutionary patterns of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in Argiopinae, a global lineage of orb weaving spiders with varying degrees of SSD. We devised a Bayesian and maximum likelihood molecular species level phylogeny, then used it to reconstruct sex specific size evolution, to examine general hypotheses and different models of size evolution, to test for sexual size coevolution, and to examine allometric patterns of SSD. Our results, revealing ancestral moderate sizes and SSD, failed to reject the Brownian motion model, which suggests a non-directional size evolution. Contrary to predictions, male and female sizes were phylogenetically correlated, and SSD evolution was isometric. We interpret these results to question the classical explanations of female-biased SSD via fecundity, gravity, and differential mortality. In argiopines, SSD evolution may be driven by these or additional selection mechanisms, but perhaps at different phylogenetic scales.

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