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Data from: Ecological divergence and sexual selection drive sexual size dimorphism in new world pitvipers (Serpentes: Viperidae)

Citation

Hendry, Catriona R.; Guiher, Timothy J.; Pyron, Robert A. (2014), Data from: Ecological divergence and sexual selection drive sexual size dimorphism in new world pitvipers (Serpentes: Viperidae), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.rf18s

Abstract

Hypotheses for the origin and maintenance of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) fall into three primary categories: (i) sexual selection on male size, (ii) fecundity selection on female size and (iii) ecological selection for gender-specific niche divergence. We investigate the impact of these forces on SSD evolution in New World pitvipers (Crotalinae). We constructed a phylogeny from up to eight genes (seven mitochondrial, one nuclear) for 104 species of NW crotalines. We gathered morphological and ecological data for 82 species for comparative analyses. There is a strong signal of sexual selection on male size driving SSD, but less evidence for fecundity selection on female size across lineages. No support was found for allometric scaling of SSD (Rensch's rule), nor for directional selection for increasing male size (the Fairbairn–Preziosi hypothesis) in NW crotalines. Interestingly, arboreal lineages experience higher rates of SSD evolution and a pronounced shift to female-biased dimorphism. This suggests that fecundity selection on arboreal females exaggerates ecologically mediated dimorphism, whereas sexual selection drives male size in terrestrial lineages. We find that increasing SSD in both directions (male- and female-biased) decreases speciation rates. In NW crotalines, it appears that increasing magnitudes of ecologically mediated SSD reduce rates of speciation, as divergence accumulates within species among sexes, reducing adaptive divergence between populations leading to speciation.

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