Secondary sexual trait melanization in black scavenger flies: nutritional plasticity and its evolution

Patrick T. Rohner
The black scavenger fly Sepsis thoracica exhibits polyphenic development resulting in alternate small black and large amber male morphs. Although the behavior, ecology, and physiology of both morphs are being scrutinized, the evolutionary origins of the nutritional polyphenism remain poorly understood. I here use a comparative approach to study variation in the degree of melanization of the forefemur —a secondary sexual trait. Melanization showed nutritional plasticity in all species and character mapping suggests polyphenic development...
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