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Data from: Morphological and functional implications of sexual size dimorphism in the Moorish gecko, Tarentola mauritanica

Citation

Massetti, Federico et al. (2017), Data from: Morphological and functional implications of sexual size dimorphism in the Moorish gecko, Tarentola mauritanica, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.jn6vn

Abstract

Sexual dimorphism (SD) is a common trait in animals, appearing due to sexual selection, fecundity selection or natural selection promoting sexual niche segregation. To evaluate the relative contribution of these mechanisms in shaping phenotypic patterns, we explored morphological and functional SD in the Moorish gecko, Tarentola mauritanica (Linnaeus, 1758). This species is particularly interesting because the sex of individuals is determined by the incubation temperature of the eggs, which may pose constraints on the expression of SD. Our results indicate the existence of marked SD in T. mauritanica. Males were overall larger than females, and were able to bite harder, but we found no differences between the sexes in climbing capacities. When differences in body size were taken into account, SD became less pronounced, appearing only in relative head dimensions, relative hind limb length and bite force. Different body parts varied under the same static allometric slopes in both sexes, a pattern not very usual in lizards. Put together, our results suggest constraints in the expression of SD in the Moorish gecko, possibly due to either not particularly intense sexual selection, to counter-balancing selection in similar traits in both sexes, or to the mode of sexual determination.

Usage Notes

Location

Southern Spain