Sex-specific covariance between metabolic rate, behaviour and morphology in the ground beetle Carabus hortensis

Yarwood, Elisabeth, Drees, Claudia, Niven, Jeremy E and Schuett, Wiebke (2021) Sex-specific covariance between metabolic rate, behaviour and morphology in the ground beetle Carabus hortensis. PeerJ – the Journal of Life & Environmental Sciences, 9. a12455 1-19. ISSN 2167-8359

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB)


Individuals within the same species often differ in their metabolic rates, which may covary with behavioural traits (such as exploration), that are consistent across time and/or contexts, and morphological traits. Yet, despite the frequent occurrence of sexual dimorphisms in morphology and behaviour, few studies have assessed whether and how sexes differ in metabolic trait covariances.

We investigated sex-specific relationships among resting or active metabolic rate (RMR and AMR, respectively) with exploratory behaviour, measured independently of metabolic rate in a novel environment, body size and body mass, in Carabus hortensis ground beetles.

RMR, AMR and exploratory behaviour were repeatable among individuals across time, except for male RMR which was unrepeatable. Female RMR neither correlated with exploratory behaviour nor body size/body mass. In contrast, AMR was correlated with both body size and exploratory behaviour. Males with larger body sizes had higher AMR, whereas females with larger body sizes had lower AMR. Both male and female AMR were significantly related to exploratory behaviour, though the relationships between AMR and exploration were body mass-dependent in males and temperature-dependent in females.

Differences between sexes exist in the covariances between metabolic rate, body size and exploratory behaviour. This suggests that selection acts differently on males and females to produce these trait covariances with potentially important consequences for individual fitness.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: body size, body mass, carabid, metabolism, personality, sex difference, exploration, novel environment
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2021 12:25
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2021 12:30

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update