An interaction-driven cannibalistic reaction norm
s Cannibalism is induced in larval-stage populations of the Hokkaido salamander, Hynobius retardatus , under the control of a cannibalism reaction norm. Here, I examined phenotypic expression under the cannibalism reaction norm, and how the induction of a cannibalistic morph under the norm leads to populational morphological diversification. I conducted a set of experiments in which density was manipulated to be either low or high. In the high-density treatment, the populations become dimorphic with some individuals developing into the cannibal morph type. I performed an exploratory analysis based on geometric morphometrics and showed that shape characteristics differed between not only cannibal and noncannibal morph types in the high-density treatment but also between those morph types and the solitary morph type in the low-density treatment. Size and shape of cannibal and noncannibal individuals were found to be located at either end of a continuum of expression following a unique size–shape integration rule that was different from the rule governing the size and shape variations of the solitary morph type. This result implies that the high-density-driven inducible morphology of an individual is governed by a common integration rule during the development of dimorphism under the control of the cannibalism reaction norm. Phenotypic expression under the cannibalism reaction norm is driven not only by population density but also by social interactions among the members of a population: variation in the populational expression of dimorphism is associated with contingent social interaction events among population members. The induced cannibalistic morph thus reflects not only by contest-type exploitative competition but also interference competition. I clarified how the cannibalism induction reaction norm of the Hokkaido salamander Hynobius retardatus makes populational morphological diversification. The reaction norm is driven not only by the density of conspecifics but also by the contingent social interactions with the population.