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      Development and evolution of adaptive polyphenisms

      Evolution and Development
      Wiley-Blackwell

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          Developmental and Physiological Determinants of Caste in Social Hymenoptera: Evolutionary Implications

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            The development and evolution of exaggerated morphologies in insects.

            We discuss a framework for studying the evolution of morphology in insects, based on the concepts of "phenotypic plasticity" and "reaction norms." We illustrate this approach with the evolution of some of the most extreme morphologies in insects: exaggerated, sexually selected male ornaments and weapons, and elaborate social insect soldier castes. Most of these traits scale with body size, and these scaling relationships are often nonlinear. We argue that scaling relationships are best viewed as reaction norms, and that the evolution of exaggerated morphological traits results from genetic changes in the slope and/or shape of these scaling relationships. After reviewing literature on sexually selected and caste-specific structures, we suggest two possible routes to the evolution of exaggerated trait dimensions: (a) the evolution of steeper scaling relationship slopes and (b) the evolution of sigmoid or discontinuous scaling relationship shapes. We discuss evolutionary implications of these two routes to exaggeration and suggest why so many of the most exaggerated insect structures scale nonlinearly with body size. Finally, we review literature on insect development to provide a comprehensive picture of how scaling relationships arise and to suggest how they may be modified through evolution.
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              Phenotypic Plasticity And The Origins Of Diversity

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Evolution and Development
                Evol Dev
                Wiley-Blackwell
                1520-541X
                1525-142X
                January 2003
                January 2003
                : 5
                : 1
                : 9-18
                Article
                10.1046/j.1525-142X.2003.03003.x
                fd428b90-89bc-47d2-876e-dc83cedd376b
                © 2003

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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