Fig. 4: The phenotypes after experimental evolution. | Nature Communications

Fig. 4: The phenotypes after experimental evolution.

From: Natural selection increases female fitness by reversing the exaggeration of a male sexually selected trait

Fig. 4

The upper panel is a diagrammatic representation of the male and female phenotypes resulting from male-limited predation in comparison to those resulting from sexual selection on males. Sexual selection (left images) results in enlarged male mandibles, which require a masculinized head and prothorax to operate effectively. This fore-body masculinization results in a smaller male abdomen and because of intersexual correlations for abdomen size, a smaller female abdomen and capacity for fewer eggs, even though females never develop mandibles. Male-limited predation selects against the masculinized phenotype, ultimately resulting in larger male and female abdomens, and hence more eggs and higher fitness females (images on the right). The lower plate shows beetles from the male predation and control treatments and reveals the impact of evolving with male predation described above—both males and female evolve more feminized phenotypes (smaller mandibles for males and larger abdomen for both) compared to the controls (NB controls and female-predation have similar phenotypes (Figs. 1 and 2) hence we show only controls for clarity). Images were created by us.

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