Humidity and seasonality drives body size patterns in males of the bush cricket Isophya rizeensis Sevgili, 2003 (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Phaneropterinae)


INSECT SCIENCE, vol.21, no.2, pp.213-226, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/1744-7917.12027
  • Journal Name: INSECT SCIENCE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.213-226
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Two primary patterns of body size variation have been recorded in ectotherms in relation to latitudinal/altitudinal shifts. In some, body size increases with increasing latitude/altitude whereas, in others, body size decreases with increasing latitude/altitude. This clinal variation is generally assumed to be caused by local adaptation to environmental conditions however the selective variable(s) (temperature, humidity, diet quality, etc.) is still heavily debated. Here we investigate geographic variation in body size of dark and pale color morphs of males of the bush-cricket Isophya rizeensis collected from 15 locations along an elevation gradient ranging from 350 to 2 500 m. Using an information theoretical approach we evaluate the relative support of four different hypotheses (the temperature size rule, the moisture gradient hypothesis, the seasonal constraint hypothesis, and the primary productivity hypothesis) explaining body size variation along the altitudinal gradient. Body size variation in pale color morphs showed a curvilinear relationship with altitude while dark color morphs showed no variation in body size. Body size variation in pale color morphs was highly correlated with precipitation and temperature seasonality values thus giving strong support for the moisture gradient and seasonal constraint hypothesis. Our results reinforce the importance of gradients in humidity and seasonality over temperature in the creation of altitudinal body size clines and the role of selection for resistance to stress factors in the establishment of these clines. Whether a body size cline is observed or not might also depend on the phenotypic properties of the individuals, like coloration.