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Sexual size dimorphism and life history traits in an island-mainland system: an overview of the lizard genus Microlophus

journal contribution
posted on 2021-07-26, 07:41 authored by Ken S. Toyama, Christopher K. Boccia
Opposing life history strategies are a common result of the different ecological settings experienced by insular and continental species. Here we present a comprehensive compilation of data on sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and life history traits of Microlophus, a genus of lizards distributed in western South America and the Galápagos Islands, and test for differences between insular and continental species under life history theory expectations. Contrary to our predictions, we found no differences in SSD between localities or evidence that Microlophus follows Rensch’s rule. However, as expected, head dimensions and maturity sizes were significantly larger in insular species while continental species had larger clutches. Our results show that Microlophus exhibits some of the patterns expected from an island-mainland system, but unexplained patterns will only be resolved through future ecological, morphological and behavioural studies integrating both faunas.