Ecomorphological Relationships in Hoverflies (Diptera, Syrphidae)
Hoverflies spend most of their feeding time either taking nectar or pollen, in varying proportions according to species. Xylota species feed on pollen, but have a specialized method of collecting it from the surface of leaves. Multivariate morphometric data and activity data (in the form of time-budgets) are associated by using canonical correlation analysis. The main feature of the two data sets lies in the correlation between proboscis shape and the proportion of time devoted to feeding on nectar and on pollen. Additionally, increased body size is correlated with more time feeding on nectar. The second canonical correlation documents the decrease in the proportion of time spent in flight with increasing body size. Morphological similarity (distance aprt in multivariate space) and ecological similarity (foraging niche overlap) are correlated. Species with similar size and shape feed on similar types of flowers and take similar foods (nectar or pollen). Reproductive and energy requirements alter with body size, and these are sufficient to explain the observed differences.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B
- Pub Date:
- March 1985