Contribution to Zoology, 75 (3/4) – 2006Ronald Vonk; Vincent Nijman: Sex ratio and sexual selection in wormshrimps (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Ingolfiellidea)

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Small populations of several species of the groundwater dwelling amphipod genus Ingolfiella are found in caves, wells, seabottoms, beaches and riverbed interstitial habitats. To gain insight in the socio-ecology of these elusive species, we used data from collected specimens to explore the relationships between sex-ratios, display of secondary sexual characters and other morphological features, and habitat use. We extracted data on the sex ratios and the presence-absence of secondary sexual characters of 13 species from the literature and through examination of museum material. We found a clearly skewed sex ratio with a preponderance of females, both in the individual species as in the genus as a whole. However, sex ratio and the display of secondary sexual characters were not correlated, nor did these characters correlate with the amount of sexual dimorphism. It remains unknown why so many ingolfiellids have evolved these costly features.