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Data from: Resource quality affects weapon and testis size and the ability of these traits to respond to selection in the leaf-footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata

Citation

Sasson, Daniel A.; Munoz, Patricio R.; Gezan, Salvador A.; Miller, Christine W. (2017), Data from: Resource quality affects weapon and testis size and the ability of these traits to respond to selection in the leaf-footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.db322

Abstract

The size of weapons and testes can be central to male reproductive success. Yet, the expression of these traits is often extremely variable. Studies are needed that take a more complete organism perspective, investigating the sources of variation in both traits simultaneously and using developmental conditions that mimic those in nature. In this study, we investigated the components of variation in weapon and testis sizes using the leaf-footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae) on three natural developmental diets. We show that the developmental diet has profound effects on both weapon and testis expression and scaling. Intriguingly, males in the medium-quality diet express large weapons but have relatively tiny testes, suggesting complex allocation decisions. We also find that heritability, evolvability, and additive genetic variation are highest in the high-quality diet for testis and body mass. This result suggests that these traits may have an enhanced ability to respond to selection during a small window of time each year when this diet is available. Taken together, these results illustrate that normal, seasonal fluctuations in the nutritional environment may play a large role in the expression of sexually selected traits and the ability of these traits to respond to selection.

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