Morphological divergence among species may be constrained by the pattern of genetic variances and covariances among traits within species. Assessing the existence of such a relationship in nature requires information on the stability of intraspecific correlation and covariance structure and the correspondence of this structure to the pattern of evolutionary divergence within a lineage. Here, we investigate these issues for nine morphological traits and 15 species of stalk-eyed flies in the genus Diasemopsis. Within-species matrices for these traits were generated from phenotypic data for all the Diasemopsis species and from genetic data for a single Diasemopsis species, D. dubia. The among-species pattern of divergence was assessed by calculating the evolutionary correlations for all pairwise combinations of the morphological traits along the phylogeny of these species. Comparisons of intraspecific matrices reveal significant similarity among all species in the phenotypic correlations matrices but not the covariance matrices. In addition, the differences in correlation structure that do exist among species are not related to their phylogenetic placement or change in the means of the traits. Comparisons of the phenotypic and phylogenetic matrices suggest a strong relationship between the pattern of evolutionary change among species and both the intraspecific correlation structure and the stability of this structure among species. The phenotypic and the phylogenetic matrices are significantly similar, and pairs of traits whose intraspecific correlations are more stable across taxa exhibit stronger coevolution on the phylogeny. These results suggest either the existence of strong constraints on the pattern of evolutionary change or a consistent pattern of correlated selection shaping both the phenotypic and phylogenetic matrices. The genetic correlation structure for D. dubia, however, does not correspond with patterns found in the phenotypic and phylogenetic data. Possible reasons for this disagreement are discussed.
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Vol. 57 • No. 1