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Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection has at its focal point the mating success of organisms. Among male animals, large body size is widely seen as the principal determinant of mating success. However, where mating takes place in a three-dimensional arena such as water, the arboreal habitat or air, small size with its concomitant aerobatic advantages(More)
Puddles of rain water on the surfaces of rock exposures are a little known but very common habitat for freshwater-dwelling animals. In Africa, these are inhabited by the larvae of two taxa of fly unique to these pools. One of these includes species able to survive dry periods in situ; the other includes species that must reach adulthood and migrate to(More)
Larvae of two midge species, Chironomus pulcher and Chironomus imicola normally occur in different puddles of rain-water; C. pulcher in shaded and C. imicola in sunny ones. When the sun/shade signal is unclear, both species can coexist for most of each rainy season. Yet, in the laboratory, C. pulcher shows total competitive exclusion of C. imicola. The(More)
Detritus (dead organic matter), largely of terrestrial origin, is superabundant in inland waters but because of its indigestible nature, would appear to be a poor food source for animals. Yet this unpromising material is widely used as food and indeed can be viewed as a defining characteristic of the freshwater environment. We here explore the relationships(More)
The degree of departure from perfect symmetry in organisms, fluctuating asymmetry (FA), is seen in most populations of animals. It has particular impact on choice of mate which lies within the world of sexual selection. Here I consider a relatively little studied aspect of sexual selection, i.e. the effect of FA on contests between males for mates, based(More)
Recent high-profile calls for a more trait-focused approach to community ecology have the potential to open up novel research areas, generate new insights and to transform community ecology into a more predictive science. However, a renewed emphasis on function and phenotype also requires a fundamental shift in approach and research philosophy within(More)
Adults of the rain-pool dwelling midge Chironomus pulcher are sexually dimorphic with females larger than males. This difference is achieved by females remaining in the growing larval stage for longer. When food is scarce, as under crowded conditions, the average size of both sexes is reduced, but the difference between them is maintained. However, more(More)
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