Vestiges of an ancestral host plant: preference and performance in the butterfly Polygonia faunus and its sister species P. c-album
2015 (English)In: Ecological Entomology, ISSN 0307-6946, E-ISSN 1365-2311, Vol. 40, no 3, 307-315 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
1. In the study of the evolution of insect-host plant interactions, important information is provided by host ranking correspondences among female preference, offspring preference, and offspring performance. Here, we contrast such patterns in two polyphagous sister species in the butterfly family Nymphalidae, the Nearctic Polygonia faunus, and the Palearctic P. c-album. 2. These two species have similar host ranges, but according to the literature P. faunus does not use the ancestral host plant clade-the urticalean rosids'. Comparisons of the species can thus test the effects of a change in insect-plant associations over a long time scale. Cage experiments confirmed that P. faunus females avoid laying eggs on Urtica dioica (the preferred host of P. c-album), instead preferring Salix, Betula, and Ribes.3. However, newly hatched larvae of both species readily accept and grow well on U. dioica, supporting the general theory that evolutionary changes in host range are initiated through shifts in female host preferences, whereas larvae are more conservative and also can retain the capacity to perform well on ancestral hosts over long time spans.4. Similar rankings of host plants among female preference, offspring preference, and offspring performance were observed in P. c-album but not in P. faunus. This is probably a result of vestiges of larval adaptations to the lost ancestral host taxon in the latter species. 5. Female and larval preferences seem to be largely free to evolve independently, and consequently larval preferences warrant more attention.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 40, no 3, 307-315 p.
Adaptation, constraints, host choice, insect behaviour, oviposition
Research subject Animal Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-115248DOI: 10.1111/een.12187ISI: 000352794200013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-115248DiVA: diva2:796169