The small dung beetle tribe Eucraniini includes extremely specialized species that have been defined as “lifters” according to their food relocation behaviour. They are characterized by the presence of well-developed expansions on the head and pronotum, which can be included in the large and varied group of horns, whose presence is usually related to complex reproductive tactics. In this study, two closely related species, Anomiopsoides cavifrons
and A. heteroclyta
, were examined employing traditional and geometric morphometrics to test whether the Eucraniini has polymorphic males that might exhibit different reproductive tactics, as in the sister tribe Phanaeini, for which a male trimorphism was demonstrated. If also present in Eucraniini polyphenism could be considered a plesiomorphy common to the two clades. The inter- and intraspecific shape variation and object symmetry of the head and the scaling relationships between body size and traits were evaluated. Marked interspecific and small intraspecific differences in shape variation, high symmetry, and similar isometric growth patterns were shown in both species. The hypothesis of male polymorphism in Anomiopsoides
was thus rejected. Instead, the results supported the alternative hypothesis that Eucraniini lacks male polymorphism, perhaps due to functional constraints affecting the shape of the structures involved in their peculiar food relocating behaviour.
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