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Comparative data for dance fly eye morphology and female ornamentation

Cite this dataset

Wiberg, R. Axel W. et al. (2020). Comparative data for dance fly eye morphology and female ornamentation [Dataset]. Dryad.


These data were collected as part of a comparative study of the relationship between female ornamentation and sexual dimorphism in eye morphology. Data come from specimens collected in the field in Scotland near Loch Lomond in the summers of 2009, 2010, and 2011 as well as the summer of 2012 near Glen Williams in Ontario, Canada. The repository contains raw image files including information on magnifications at which these were taken, excel spreadsheets of morphological measurements taken from these images, a dataset from search of Collin’s (1961) key to the Empidinae for reports of sexual dimorphism and exaggerations of male eye morphology, and an Rnotebook file detailing the analytical steps taken.


Flies were caught from mating swarms or when resting on vegetation using sweep nets. Differences in eye morphology were quantified from nail varnish casts of the compound eyes of males and females. Female ornamentation was quantified as the total leg area of the four posterior legs of males and females.

Usage notes

Comparative analysis was performed using a phylogeny published in:

Murray et al., in press Competition for access to mates predicts female-specific ornamentation and polyandry. Evolution


Full Reference for Collin’s (1961) key:

Collin, J. E. (1961). British Flies: Empididae. Cambridge University Press.


Nuffield Foundation, Award: URB/39500

Royal Society, Award: 2010 R1

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

University of Stirling