Presentation Type

Poster

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Doug Emlen

Faculty Mentor’s Department

Division of Biological Sciences

Abstract

In many insect groups, males display a smaller size than their respective females. While selection of larger sizes through fecundity benefits is rather well understood in females of such systems, selection for smaller sizes in males through increased mobility is often evoked but rarely tested empirically. I studied the relationship between male body size and flight performance in males of the leaf insect Phyllium Philippinicum to determine if larger males indeed display reduced mobility. With graduate student Romain Boisseau, we recorded videos of 17 individuals flying in ultra slow motion and used Matlab to mark the head and the tail tip in each frame. Through these trajectories, we are able to measure velocity and body angle using R. Our results showed that smaller males had higher maneuverability, maximum vertical velocity, and mean stable velocity, thus demonstrating that they are better fliers than larger males.

Category

Life Sciences

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Apr 17th, 3:00 PM Apr 17th, 4:00 PM

The Role of Male Flight Performance in the Evolution of Extreme Sexual Dimorphism in Leaf Insects

UC South Ballroom

In many insect groups, males display a smaller size than their respective females. While selection of larger sizes through fecundity benefits is rather well understood in females of such systems, selection for smaller sizes in males through increased mobility is often evoked but rarely tested empirically. I studied the relationship between male body size and flight performance in males of the leaf insect Phyllium Philippinicum to determine if larger males indeed display reduced mobility. With graduate student Romain Boisseau, we recorded videos of 17 individuals flying in ultra slow motion and used Matlab to mark the head and the tail tip in each frame. Through these trajectories, we are able to measure velocity and body angle using R. Our results showed that smaller males had higher maneuverability, maximum vertical velocity, and mean stable velocity, thus demonstrating that they are better fliers than larger males.