A scientometric analysis on pre- and post-copulatory traits in Odonata


In the last decades, studies on sexual selection in odonates have shown a relationship between mating success and costly sexual ornaments, mainly male characters. Here, we conducted a scientometric analysis to assess the state of art of studies on sexual selection in odonates, especially on the role of male ornamentation (pre-copulatory traits) and sperm competition (post-copulatory traits). We found 51 papers focused on sexual ornamentation and 34 on sperm competition. Only one study simultaneously addressed both pre- and post-copulatory traits, nevertheless without an integrative approach. Results show that calopterygids are extensively studied regarding pre-copulatory traits (i.e., male wing pigmentation), while libellulids are mostly studied in post-copulatory traits (e.g., sperm competition) focused research. These preferences seem to be related to characteristics like presence of ornamentation and territoriality, large body size, variation and complexity of sperm removal structures, respectively. For the post-copulatory traits, sperm removal is frequently addressed, but few other strategies, like the investment in sperm quality and quantity, are investigated. Finally, we demonstrate that it is necessary to conduct studies focused on addressing the relationship between pre- and post- mating sexual traits.

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