Sexual size dimorphism: Patterns and processes

Martin Alejandro Serrano-Meneses, Alex Córdoba-Aguilar, Tamás Székely

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

8 Citations (SciVal)


Odonates provide excellent model organisms for testing functional explanations of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) because of their wide variety of habitats, morphology, development, feeding behaviour, and mating strategies. This chapter discusses three major functional hypotheses of SSD and uses data on 133 odonate species to describe their patterns of SSD. It shows that SSD centres around monomorphism in dragonflies, whereas SSD is mostly male-biased in damselflies. Interestingly, phylogenetic comparative analyses suggest that damselflies - but not dragonflies - exhibit allometry consistent with Rensch's rule. Sexual selection acts mainly on males, whereas fecundity selection appears to influence female body size. Further tests, however, are essential, in particular of fecundity selection and the differential niche-utilization.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDragonflies and Damselflies
Subtitle of host publicationModel Organisms for Ecological and Evolutionary Research
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199230693
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Allometry
  • Differential niche-utilisation
  • Fecundity selection
  • Rensch's rule
  • Sexual selection
  • Sexual size dimorphism


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