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Neotropical Entomology

Print version ISSN 1519-566X

Abstract

RODRIGUEZ-JIMENEZ, Andrea  and  SARMIENTO, Carlos E.. Altitudinal distribution and body resource allocation in a High Mountain social wasp (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Neotrop. entomol. [online]. 2008, vol.37, n.1, pp. 1-7. ISSN 1519-566X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-566X2008000100001.

Jame's rule proposes a direct relationship between body size and altitude. There are several studies about this rule; however, few studies analyze proportional changes in body parts along gradients. The morphological variation of Agelaia pallipes (Olivier) in five sites along an altitudinal gradient (2600-3380 m) in the Santuario de Iguaque, Colombia, were studied in order to test whether or not the species follows Jame's rule, and whether body parts follow a homogeneous variation. Body variation analysis was conducted through multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and the relationship between altitude and each morphometric measurement was studied through regression analyses. The MANOVA indicated significant differences among sites. An increase in altitude leads to a reduction in body size, especially in hind femur length and head width. However, measurements linked to flight such as mesosoma height, mesoscutum width, and fore wing size showed a reverse tendency. Possibly all described changes are consequence of both reduction on food availability and lower atmospheric pressure. The low temperature of high areas may strongly limit foraging and thus food availability. Lower atmospheric pressure reduces flight potential and may result in an increase in size of both wings and flight muscles. This paper underscores the need to study in detail the changes in body proportions in species with wide distribution ranges in latitude and altitude.

Keywords : Jame's rule; Bergmann's rule; altitudinal gradient; Agelaia; trade-off.

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