Sexual dimorphism patterns of the White Sea threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus)

  • Ahmed Dorgham Department of Ichthyology and Hydrobiology, Faculty of Biology, Saint Petersburg State University, 16 liniya V. O., 29, Saint Petersburg, 199178, Russian Federation; Department of Fish Breeding and Genetics, Central Laboratory for Aquaculture Research, Agriculture Research Center, Abbassa, 44662, Abou-Hammad, Sharkia, Egypt https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4882-8379
  • Ulrika Candolin Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Viikinkaari 1, Biocentre 3, 00790, Helsinki, Finland https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8736-7793
  • Tatiana Ivanova Department of Ichthyology and Hydrobiology, Faculty of Biology, Saint Petersburg State University, 16 liniya V. O., 29, Saint Petersburg, 199178, Russian Federation https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4186-7084
  • Mikhail Ivanov Department of Ichthyology and Hydrobiology, Faculty of Biology, Saint Petersburg State University, 16 liniya V. O., 29, Saint Petersburg, 199178, Russian Federation https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8277-7387
  • Ekaterina Nadtochii Department of Ichthyology and Hydrobiology, Faculty of Biology, Saint Petersburg State University, 16 liniya V. O., 29, Saint Petersburg, 199178, Russian Federation https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8062-6078
  • Anastasia Yurtseva Laboratory of Ichthyology, Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya nab., 1, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1404-7152
  • Dmitry Lajus Department of Ichthyology and Hydrobiology, Faculty of Biology, Saint Petersburg State University, 16 liniya V. O., 29, Saint Petersburg, 199178, Russian Federation https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2264-5825

Abstract

Sexual dimorphism (SD) in the threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus reflects the different roles of the sexes in reproduction and their adaptations to different ecological niches. We quantified SD in one population of marine stickleback from the White Sea, collected during the spawning period from three spawning grounds, each at a distance of 5 km or less from the others. We used a landmark-based approach to quantify variation in 44 morphometric linear traits. In total, 749 females and 693 males were analyzed. In males, anterior body parts are larger — the base of the caudal fin and armor structures such as the first and second dorsal spines and the pelvic spine. Females have larger posterior bodies — the abdomen, pelvic girdle and the third dorsal spine. The SD of caudal body parts exhibits complex patterns. In White Sea threespine stickleback, SD patterns are generally similar to other populations of the species, but more often show male-biased patterns. Female-biased size SD may be associated with the female biased sex ratio of White Sea stickleback.

Keywords:

threespine stickleback, sexual dimorphism, morphological variation, body shape, body size, White Sea

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Published
2021-11-12
How to Cite
Dorgham, A., Candolin, U., Ivanova, T., Ivanov, M., Nadtochii, E., Yurtseva, A., & Lajus, D. (2021). Sexual dimorphism patterns of the White Sea threespine stickleback (<em>Gasterosteus aculeatus</em&gt;). Biological Communications, 66(3), 256–267. https://doi.org/10.21638/spbu03.2021.307
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