No effect of larval experience on adult host preferences in Polygonia c-album (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae): on the persistence of Hopkins' host selection principle
2009 (English)In: Ecological Entomology, ISSN 0307-6946, Vol. 34, no 1, 50-57 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
1. The possible effect of juvenile imprinting or 'chemical legacy' on the subsequent oviposition - often called the 'Hopkins' host selection principle' - has been a controversial but recurrent theme in the literature on host-plant preference. While it appears possible in principle, experimental support for the hypothesis is equivocal. The present study points out that it is also important to consider its theoretical implications, and asks under what circumstances, if any, it should be favoured by natural selection.
2. Following this reasoning, it is predicted that host preference in the polyphagous butterfly Polygonia c-album L. (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae) should not be influenced by larval environment. This was tested by rearing larvae on three natural host plants: the high-ranked Urtica dioica and the medium-ranked Salix cinerea and Ribes uva-crispa, and exposing the naive females to oviposition choices involving the same set of plants.
3. It was found that larval host plant had no effect on oviposition decisions of the adult female. Hence, the Hopkins' host selection principle does not seem to be applicable in this species.
4. Based on recent insights on how accuracy of environmental versus genetic information should affect the control of developmental switches, the conditions that could favour the use of juvenile cues in oviposition decisions are discussed. Although the Hopkins' host selection hypothesis cannot be completely ruled out, we argue that the circumstances required for it to be adaptive are so specific that it should not be invoked as a general hypothesis for host selection in plant-feeding insects.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Blackwell , 2009. Vol. 34, no 1, 50-57 p.
Chemical legacy, environmental cues, genetic cues, host-plant preference, Polygonia c-album, phenotypic plasticity, pre-imaginal conditioning, specialisation
Ecology Ecology Developmental Biology
Research subject Animal Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-28284DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2311.2008.01041.xISI: 000262468000007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-28284DiVA: diva2:223433