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, 24 (11), 1082-5

Sexual and Male Horn Dimorphism in Copris Ochus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)


Sexual and Male Horn Dimorphism in Copris Ochus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)

Shinji Sugiura et al. Zoolog Sci.


Copris ochus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), an endangered species, is the largest dung beetle in Japan. In C. ochus, males have a long head horn, while females lack this long horn (sexual dimorphism). Very large males of C. ochus have disproportionately longer head horns than small males, suggesting male horn dimorphism, although the dimorphism has not been investigated quantitatively. To clarify sexual and male horn dimorphism in C. ochus quantitatively, we examined the scaling relationship between body size (prothorax width) and head horn length in 94 females and 76 males. These beetles were captured during July 1978 from a natural population on Mt. Aso in southwestern Japan using a light trap. Although the horn length of the females and males scaled with prothorax width, the scaling relationship differed between the sexes, i.e., the relationship was linear in females and nonlinear in males. Statistical tests for dimorphism in male horn length showed a significant discontinuous relationship, thus indicating distinct sexual and male dimorphism in head horns. Long- and short-horned C. ochus males may have different reproductive behaviors, as described in other horned dung beetles.

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