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Data from: A comparative morphometric study of sensory capacity in geometrid moths

Citation

Javoiš, Juhan; Davis, Robert B.; Tammaru, Toomas (2019), Data from: A comparative morphometric study of sensory capacity in geometrid moths, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q2cc41c

Abstract

Diet breadth and the degree of capital breeding have been established as major determinants of species-specific ecology of herbivorous insects. The relationship of these variables with sensory capacity, although allowing an array of hypotheses, has remained poorly studied, let alone in phylogenetically explicit multi-species comparisons. We contribute to filling this gap in a study of 60 species of geometrid moths (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), using adult head measures (eye size, antennal length and shape, forehead width) as indices of sensory capacity. When controlled for body size, eyes of capital breeding species were found to be smaller, and female antennae shorter, than in income breeders. Feathery (vs simple filiform) male antennae were more frequently present in the capital breeders and in larger species. Regarding diet breadth, generalist species were found to have relatively wider male foreheads than specialists. The results suggest that (a) breeding strategy rather than diet breadth predicts sensory capacity in geometrids, (b) capital breeding (vs income breeding) is related to low sensory capacity in females, and (c) in contrast, males of the capital breeding species have evolved towards elevated olfactory capacity.

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