Aggression and Morphology in Cyphoderris monstrosa

  • Erin Gaydosh MacEwan University


Sexual selection is the process of competing for access to a mate, and this includes intersexual selection and intrasexual selection. The two types of sexual selection include intrasexual and intrasexual selection, which is either the competition between members of the same sex or choosing a mate of the opposite sex, respectively. In intrasexual selection, weaponry is thought to be important as it increases competitive access. Recent research suggests that overall size and shape can be a predictor of fight outcome. Male Cyphoderris monstrosa are known to be aggressive when it comes to territory and mates, exhibiting this in contests. Using a vertical log arena, pairs of male Cyphoderris monstrosa were subjected to behavioural aggression trials. Contestants from the trials were dissected and photographs of their head, femora, and forewings were taken. Using these photographs, landmarks were used to determine morphological size and shape of each individual contestant. This study found that overall body size and measurements included in this analysis were not predictive of contest outcome. In addition to identifying the relationship between aggression and morphology in this species, this study provides evidence for the existence of two potential subspecies of C. monstrosa.


Faculty Mentor: Kevin Judge

Department: Biological Science