Wing shape variations in an invasive moth are related to sexual dimorphism and altitude

N. Hernández-L., Á R. Barragán, S. Dupas, J. F. Silvain, O. Dangles

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

31 Citas (Scopus)


Wing morphology has great importance in a wide variety of aspects of an insect's life. Here, we use a geometric morphometric approach to test the hypothesis that variation, in insect wing morphology patterns, occurs between sexes and along altitudinal gradients for invasive species, despite their recent association to this environment. We explored the variation in wing morphology between 12 invasive populations of the invasive potato pest, Tecia solanivora, at low and high altitude in the central highlands of Ecuador. After characterizing sexual dimorphism in wing shape, we investigated if moths at higher elevations differ in wing morphology from populations at lower altitudes. Results indicate wing shape and size differences between sexes and between altitudinal ranges. Females showed larger, wider wings than males, while high altitude moths showed larger, narrow-shaped wings by comparison to low-altitude moths. GLM analyses confirmed altitude was the only significant determinant of this gradient. Our study confirms a sexual dimorphism in size and wing shape for the potato moth. It also confirms and extends predictions of morphological changes with altitude to an invasive species, suggesting that wing morphology variation is an adapted response contributing to invasion success of the potato moth in mountainous landscapes. Ours is one of the first studies on the morphology of invasive insects and represents a valuable contribution to the study of insect invasions because it both offers empirical support to previous genetic studies on T. solanivora as well as proving broader insight into the mechanisms behind morphological evolution of a recently introduced pest.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)529-541
Número de páginas13
PublicaciónBulletin of Entomological Research
EstadoPublicada - oct. 2010


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