A chink in the armour: an investigation of thrips soldier morphology and sex in relation to fighting ability

Caravan, Holly E. (2012) A chink in the armour: an investigation of thrips soldier morphology and sex in relation to fighting ability. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Explaining the persistence of self-sacrificing individuals throughout evolutionary time has been a central area of study for evolutionary biologists since Darwin. In total, seven species of Australian gall inducing thrips have evolved soldiers with enlarged femurs that are used to defend against invertebrate invaders. In the species Kladothrips intermedius, the sexes of soldiers differ morphologically - the females have more robust femurs than the male soldiers, which have longer wings, suggesting less commitment to this defensive role. There was no difference in the fighting abilities of the male and female soldiers in K intermedius. Morphology of the soldier, within a sex, was related to the outcome of a battle with an invader, but not in the way expected. Females with slimmer femurs were more likely to battle an invader. Also, female soldiers with shorter wings were better able to dispatch an invader while male soldiers with longer wings were less likely to battle an invader.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6093
Item ID: 6093
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 57-75)
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: 2012
Date Type: Submission

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