© 2015 Tully, Potapov. We describe and compare the external morphology of eleven clonal strains and one sexual lineage of the globally distributed Folsomia candida, known as "standard" test Collembola. Of the 18 morphological characters studied, we measured 14 to have significant between-strains genetic variations, 9 of these had high heritabilities ( > 78%). The quantified morphological polymorphism was used to analyse the within-species relationships between strains by using both a parsimony analysis and a distance tree. These two detailed morphological phylogenies have revealed that the parthenogenetic strains grouped themselves into two major clades. However the exact position of the sexual strain remains unclear and further analysis is needed to confirm its exact relationship with the parthenogenetic ones. The two morphologically based clades were found to be the same as the ones previously described using molecular analysis. This shows that despite large within-strain variations, morphological characters can be used to differentiate some strains that have diverged within a single morphospecies. We discuss the potential evolutionary interpretations and consequences of these different levels of phenotypic variability.
Tully, T., & Potapov, M. (2015). Intraspecific Phenotypic Variation and Morphological Divergence of Strains of Folsomia candida (Willem) (Collembola: Isotomidae), the “Standard” Test Springtaill. PLoS ONE, 10(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0136047