Data from: Patriline differences reveal genetic influence on forewing size and shape in a yellowjacket wasp (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Vespula flavopilosa Jacobson, 1978)
Perrard, Adrien; Loope, Kevin J. (2016), Data from: Patriline differences reveal genetic influence on forewing size and shape in a yellowjacket wasp (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Vespula flavopilosa Jacobson, 1978), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.ss08k
The wing venation is frequently used as a morphological marker to distinguish biological groups among insects. With geometric morphometrics, minute shape differences can be detected between closely related species or populations, making this technique useful for taxonomy. However, the direct influence of genetic differences on wing morphology has not been explored within colonies of social insects. Here, we show that the father’s genotype has a direct effect on wing morphology in colonies of social wasps. Using geometric morphometrics on the venation pattern, we found significant differences in wing size and shape between patrilines of yellowjackets, taking allometry and measurement error into account. The genetic influence on wing size accounted for a small part of the overall size variation, but venation shape was highly structured by the differences between patrilines. Overall, our results showed a strong genetic influence on wing morphology likely acting at multiple levels of venation pattern development. This confirmed the pertinence of this marker for taxonomic purposes and suggests this phenotype as a potentially useful marker for phylogenies. This also raises doubts about the strength of selective pressures on this phenotype, which highlights the need to understand better the role of wing venation shape in insect flight.