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524 R. J. Knell and others Curved allometries of secondary sexual traits 1966; Nijhout 1994), and in particular that the limited resources available to the rapidly growing imaginal discs that produce these traits may be the cause of these patterns (Huxley 1932; Nijhout 1994; Nijhout & Wheeler 1996), but until now there have been no empirical tests of these ideas. We investigated the relationship between allometry and the costs and benefits associated with weapon size by comparing allometric curves for mandible length plotted against elytron length for 17 species of stag beetle from the genus Lucanus. These insects (family Lucanidae) are characterized by the presence of enlarged mandibles in males, which are used in intrasexual contests, during which rivals wrestle with their opponents on the logs and tree trunks where females come to oviposit (Darwin 1871; Arrow 1951; Mathieu 1969; Otte & Stayman 1979). There is considerable variation in mandible size both within and between species, making the lucanids an ideal taxon in which to study the relationship between the curvature of the allometric curve and the relative exaggeration of the secondary sexual trait. In particular, if the increasing costs of possessing larger secondary sexual traits are related to the declines in slope observed towards the upper ends of the allometric curves, we predicted that as mandibles become more exaggerated (and therefore more costly) so the deviation of the curve from linearity should become greater. log e median mandible length (mm

Year: 2013
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