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Intra- and inter-specific variation in size and habitus of two sibling spider species (Araneae: Lycosidae): taxonomic and biogeographic insights from sampling across Europe

Abstract : Discriminating closely related species can become a taxonomical challenge if a clear morphological diagnosis is lacking. Two subspecies have been recognized in Pardosa agrestis (Westring, 1861); however, their validity is still debated. To resolve this dilemma, quantitative and qualitative traits were measured for 30 females and 30 males per site from ten localities throughout Western Europe (11 measurements on each individual) and compared between subspecies. Mean annual temperature and geographical coordinates from all sites were also included in the statistical models in order to test for variations in size over the distribution range of each subspecies. We found significant differences in body size and size of copulatory organs as well as accurate criteria of discrimination between P. a. agrestis and P. a. purbeckensis F.O.P. Cambridge, 1895, suggesting that these taxa are two valid morphological species, occurring sympatrically. We also showed that temperatures did not directly influence the size of individuals, but that one species had smaller individuals at higher latitudes (following the converse Bergmann's rule), and that both species had larger individuals in centrally sampled populations (fitting to the centre hypothesis). (C) 2014 The Linnean Society of London,
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Submitted on : Friday, September 30, 2016 - 2:15:57 PM
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Charlene Puzin, Boris Leroy, Julien Pétillon. Intra- and inter-specific variation in size and habitus of two sibling spider species (Araneae: Lycosidae): taxonomic and biogeographic insights from sampling across Europe. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Linnean Society of London, 2014, 113 (1), pp.85--96. ⟨10.1111/bij.12303⟩. ⟨hal-01374436⟩

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