Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Female morphs of a colour polymorphic damselfly differ in developmental instability and fecundity

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Animal Biology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Netherlands Journal of Zoology (Vol 18-52).

Sex-limited colour polymorphism occurs in several animal taxa and is usually explained in the context of sexual selection. Specifically, for polymorphism restricted to the female sex, multiple phenotypes may have evolved in response to male harassment. Such male harassment is generally considered to entail differential costs to female morphs, which may ultimately result in fitness differences. However, contrary to this prediction, most previous studies do not support that female morphs (andromorphs and heteromorphs) differ in measures of quality and (or) fitness components. In this study, we evaluate quality and fitness differences between mated female morphs of the damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum. We suggest that many earlier studies may have failed to observe morph differences in quality or fitness because selection by male harassment was weak. Here, we selected a study population for which our expectation was that levels of per female capita male harassment were high. Nevertheless, also in this population mated female morphs did not differ in body size or condition (body mass/body length). However, mated female morphs did differ in levels of developmental instability: heteromorphs consistently showed a higher level of fluctuating asymmetry than andromorphs. Also, mated female morphs differed in fecundity: andromorphs had a lower clutch size than heteromorphs. In addition, larger females contained more eggs, but the slope of this relationship was steeper in heteromorphs. In conclusion, mated female morphs of the damselfly E. cyathigerum at our study site clearly differed in one quality estimate (developmental instability) and in our measure of fitness (fecundity).

Affiliations: 1: Evolutionary Ecology Group, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp, Belgium; 2: Research Institute for Nature and Forest, Kliniekstraat 25, B-1070 Brussels, Belgium; 3: Institute of Animal Ecology, Ghent University, Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium; 4: Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology, University of Leuven (KULeuven) Debériotstraat 32, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Animal Biology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation