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Is wing pigmentation of calopterygid damselflies associated with temperate latitudes and speciation?

Waller, John (2011) BION32 20111
Degree Projects in Biology
Abstract
Abstract

I examined the evolutionary dynamics of melanic wing colouration in male and female calopterygid damselflies. I use phylogenetic analysis and ancestral state reconstructions to show that male wing pigmentation in this family evolved from clear-winged ancestors, and present evidence that wing pigmentation in male damselflies is significantly correlated (independent of phylogeny) with temperate latitudes. These results suggest wing pigment influences range latitude in this insect family. Additionally, I present evidence from diversification analysis that male wing pigmentation is positively associated with species turnover. Finally, I present a model of male and female wing-pigment evolution generated from evolutionary transition... (More)
Abstract

I examined the evolutionary dynamics of melanic wing colouration in male and female calopterygid damselflies. I use phylogenetic analysis and ancestral state reconstructions to show that male wing pigmentation in this family evolved from clear-winged ancestors, and present evidence that wing pigmentation in male damselflies is significantly correlated (independent of phylogeny) with temperate latitudes. These results suggest wing pigment influences range latitude in this insect family. Additionally, I present evidence from diversification analysis that male wing pigmentation is positively associated with species turnover. Finally, I present a model of male and female wing-pigment evolution generated from evolutionary transition rates.

Popular science summary:

Evolution of wing pigment in damselflies.

My study examined the evolution of wing pigment within the damselfly family Calopterygidae. These damselflies can have pigmented or un-pigmented wings. In some species, wing pigmentation appears to be a lost-or-gained character. Since wing pigment contains melanin I was looking for a correlation between wing pigment and cooler temperate environments. It is believed that wing pigment could serve a number of non-mutually exclusive functions, such as species recognition and possibly thermoregulation.
When comparing between species one has to control for their relatedness, as any correlation found could be due only to related species being more similar. Thus when looking for a correlation between species, one must look for independent instances of evolution.
Within the genus Calopteryx, for example, wing pigment is present in 18 out of about 20 species, with only 2 species having completely clear wings. So in this genus wing pigment appears to have evolved once and lost in two species.

What I found:

Using a previously published phylogeny, I found that wing pigment clear wings were have preceded pigmented wings, meaning that damselflies with pigmented wings evolved from damselflies with clear wings.
I also found 7 independent transitions of pigment-winged species into temperate, cooler environments. However, looking at the phylogeny I found that wing pigment evolved first in warmer, tropical environments before pigmented winged species but only pigmented wing species moved northward. Whether there is something about wing pigment that allows damselflies to migrate northwards remains unclear.
Another part of the study was to examine whether wing pigment is associated with an increased speciation rate. I tested this hypothesis because previous experimental and theoretical worked has shown that sexually selected characters are involved in species recognition and can potentially isolate populations leading to increased to an increased speciation rate. Here, I found that species with wing pigment tended to have higher speciation rate than clear-winged species.


Advisor: Erik Svensson
Master´s Degree Project 45 credits 2012
Department of Biology, Lund University (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Waller, John
supervisor
organization
course
BION32 20111
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
language
English
id
3799574
date added to LUP
2013-05-23 11:44:12
date last changed
2013-05-23 11:44:12
@misc{3799574,
  abstract     = {Abstract

I examined the evolutionary dynamics of melanic wing colouration in male and female calopterygid damselflies. I use phylogenetic analysis and ancestral state reconstructions to show that male wing pigmentation in this family evolved from clear-winged ancestors, and present evidence that wing pigmentation in male damselflies is significantly correlated (independent of phylogeny) with temperate latitudes. These results suggest wing pigment influences range latitude in this insect family. Additionally, I present evidence from diversification analysis that male wing pigmentation is positively associated with species turnover. Finally, I present a model of male and female wing-pigment evolution generated from evolutionary transition rates.

Popular science summary:

Evolution of wing pigment in damselflies.

My study examined the evolution of wing pigment within the damselfly family Calopterygidae. These damselflies can have pigmented or un-pigmented wings. In some species, wing pigmentation appears to be a lost-or-gained character. Since wing pigment contains melanin I was looking for a correlation between wing pigment and cooler temperate environments. It is believed that wing pigment could serve a number of non-mutually exclusive functions, such as species recognition and possibly thermoregulation.
When comparing between species one has to control for their relatedness, as any correlation found could be due only to related species being more similar. Thus when looking for a correlation between species, one must look for independent instances of evolution.
Within the genus Calopteryx, for example, wing pigment is present in 18 out of about 20 species, with only 2 species having completely clear wings. So in this genus wing pigment appears to have evolved once and lost in two species.

What I found:

Using a previously published phylogeny, I found that wing pigment clear wings were have preceded pigmented wings, meaning that damselflies with pigmented wings evolved from damselflies with clear wings. 
 I also found 7 independent transitions of pigment-winged species into temperate, cooler environments. However, looking at the phylogeny I found that wing pigment evolved first in warmer, tropical environments before pigmented winged species but only pigmented wing species moved northward. Whether there is something about wing pigment that allows damselflies to migrate northwards remains unclear. 
Another part of the study was to examine whether wing pigment is associated with an increased speciation rate. I tested this hypothesis because previous experimental and theoretical worked has shown that sexually selected characters are involved in species recognition and can potentially isolate populations leading to increased to an increased speciation rate. Here, I found that species with wing pigment tended to have higher speciation rate than clear-winged species. 


Advisor: Erik Svensson
Master´s Degree Project 45 credits 2012
Department of Biology, Lund University},
  author       = {Waller, John},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Is wing pigmentation of calopterygid damselflies associated with temperate latitudes and speciation?},
  year         = {2011},
}