Latitudinal gradients in body size and sexual size dimorphism in fleas: males drive Bergmann's pattern

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10 Scopus citations


We tested for the effects of latitude and geographic range size (GRS) on body size, leg length, and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) across 103 species of fleas, taking into account phylogenetic between-species relationships. When the data on body size were combined for males and females, the positive correlation between body size and latitude, but not GRS, was revealed. When the analysis was restricted to one sex only, the effect of latitude appeared to be non-significant for females, whereas male body size increased with an increase in latitude. Intraspecific body size variation was not associated with either the latitude or the latitudinal span of the geographic range, independently of which data subset was analyzed. No evidence of association between size-independent tibia length and latitude was found for either females, males, or both sexes combined. The degree of SSD decreased with a decrease in latitude but was not affected by GRS. We conclude that macroecological patterns might be manifested differently in males and females. This should be kept in mind while searching for these patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-426
Number of pages13
JournalIntegrative Zoology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2023


  • Bergmann's rule
  • fleas
  • geographic range
  • latitude
  • sexual dimorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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