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16 November 2020 Convergent evolution of sexually dimorphic glands in an amphi-Pacific harvestman family
Guilherme Gainett, Rodrigo H. Willemart, Gonzalo Giribet, Prashant P. Sharma
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Sexually dimorphic traits are widespread in animals, and include sex-specific weapons, ornamentation and, although less noticed, glands and associated structures. In arachnids, certain lineages of the order Opiliones exhibit diverse forms of dimorphism in the armature and length of appendages (common in Laniatores), as well as in the presence of sexually dimorphic glands (mostly investigated in Cyphophthalmi), positing harvestmen as promising models to study sexual dimorphism. Whereas the evolution and ecological significance of armature have been the focus of recent attention, sexually dimorphic glands remain understudied in groups other than Cyphophthalmi, despite being widespread in Opiliones. We therefore selected the amphi-Pacific family Zalmoxidae as an ideal taxon to investigate the evolutionary dynamics of this trait. We first describe four new species of Palaeotropical Zalmoxis, including a species with sexually dimorphic glands, and describe the morphology of zalmoxid species with sexually dimorphic glands using scanning electron microscopy. Using a previously assembled six-locus dataset supplemented with new terminals, and applying stochastic character mapping, we infer that sexually dimorphic glands evolved once in the Neotropics and at least four times in the Palaeotropic zalmoxids, revealing the evolutionary lability of this trait.

© CSIRO 2020
Guilherme Gainett, Rodrigo H. Willemart, Gonzalo Giribet, and Prashant P. Sharma "Convergent evolution of sexually dimorphic glands in an amphi-Pacific harvestman family," Invertebrate Systematics 34(8), 871-892, (16 November 2020).
Received: 8 March 2020; Accepted: 16 July 2020; Published: 16 November 2020
sexual dimorphism
stochastic character mapping
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