Morphometric analysis, mimicry, and color polymorphism in five species of Chauliognathus Hentz (Coleoptera, Cantharidae)

Abstract

This study presents data on morphometric variation for length and width of elytra in tive sympatric species of the genus Chauliognathus Hentz, 1830: C. flavipes Fabricius, 1781, C. octomaculatus Pie, 1915, C. expansus Waterhouse, 1878, C. fallax Germar, 1824 and C. lineatus Zwetsch & Machado, 2000. The meaning of this variation is discussed in the light of the theory of mimicry and visual communication between prey and predator. Females are larger than males in all species, except C. expansus. The analysis of variance for length of elytron as well as for width showed that the differences between species are significant for males and females; significant interaction (sex x species) was also found. The similarity in color pattern of these species, as well as similarities in the morphometric analysis, suggests that they could form a mimetic ring of the Müllerian type, which the authors suggest be called, a "yellow-black" complex.

Coleoptera; Cantharidae; Chauliognathus; morphometry; color polymorphism


Morphometric analysis, mimicry, and color polymorphism in five species of Chauliognathus Hentz (Coleoptera, Cantharidae)

Vilmar MachadoI; Aldo M. de AraújoII; Cleri S. MosmannI

ILaboratório de Genética, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos. Caixa Postal 275, 93022-000 São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. E-mail: machado@bios.unisinos.br

IIDepartamento de Genética, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. Caixa Postal 15053, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. E-mail: aldomel@portoweb.com.br

ABSTRACT

This study presents data on morphometric variation for length and width of elytra in tive sympatric species of the genus Chauliognathus Hentz, 1830: C. flavipes Fabricius, 1781, C. octomaculatus Pie, 1915, C. expansus Waterhouse, 1878, C. fallax Germar, 1824 and C. lineatus Zwetsch & Machado, 2000. The meaning of this variation is discussed in the light of the theory of mimicry and visual communication between prey and predator. Females are larger than males in all species, except C. expansus. The analysis of variance for length of elytron as well as for width showed that the differences between species are significant for males and females; significant interaction (sex x species) was also found. The similarity in color pattern of these species, as well as similarities in the morphometric analysis, suggests that they could form a mimetic ring of the Müllerian type, which the authors suggest be called, a "yellow-black" complex.

Key words: Coleoptera, Cantharidae, Chauliognathus, morphometry, color polymorphism

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. Thanks are due to Conselho de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and to Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP) for the financial support.

Recebido em 29.VI.2000; aceito em 16.VII.2001.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    08 May 2009
  • Date of issue
    Sept 2001

History

  • Accepted
    16 July 2001
  • Received
    29 June 2000
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