Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Biology
Jonathan M. Brown
Reid N. Harris
Patrice Marie Ludwig
Female dimorphism is commonly hypothesized to be a result of adaptations to male harassment. I tested whether polymorphic female coloration in the Hawaiian damselfly Megalagrion calliphya is under selection from male sexual harassment via two possible forms of negative frequency-dependent selection: the male mimicry and the learned mate recognition hypotheses. I measured male behavior toward tethered females at mating sites under naturally occurring conditions and found no evidence for either hypothesis. Harassment rates did not significantly differ between female morphs. One measure of morph frequency did predict harassment of all individuals, but this relationship was driven by a single population. I found no evidence that negative frequency-dependent selection contributes to the maintenance of polymorphism in this species. Future studies of female polymorphism should test other selective pressures which may act on polymorphism.
Cook, Phoebe, "Female color variation and male harassment in the polymorphic damselfly Megalagrion calliphya" (2017). Masters Theses. 507.
Available for download on Thursday, April 19, 2018