Patterns of Phenotypic Divergence in Wing Covariance Structure of Calopterygid Damselflies

Fabrice Eroukhmanoff, David Outomuro, Francisco J. Ocharan, Erik Svensson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Comparing species differences in covariance patterns of traits subject to divergent selection pressures can increase our understanding to the mechanisms of phenotypic divergence. Different species of calopterygid damselflies have diverged in the melanized wing patch of males. This trait serves multiple ecological functions and has behavioral consequences in terms of sexual selection, interspecific interactions, reproductive isolation. We compared the phenotypic variance-covariance matrices (P) of wing traits among nine populations of four European species of calopterygid damselflies. We found modest divergence in covariance structure among populations of the same species, but strong divergence between species. Interestingly, the orientation of the first eigenvector of P (P (max) ) differed more between closely related species than between distantly related species, although this pattern was absent when overall covariance structures were compared. We also found that distantly related species but geographically closer had converged towards a similar covariance structure. Finally, divergence in covariance structure was correlated with divergence in wing patch length, but not with other wing traits. This last finding suggests that divergent selection on wing patch length might have affected the stability of P. These results indicate that P might not only reflect ancestral developmental pathways but might also be influenced by current ecology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-224
JournalEvolutionary Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Biological Sciences

Free keywords

  • Wing morphology
  • Speciation
  • P-matrix
  • Phenotypic integration
  • Phenotypic plasticity


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