DOI: 10.1101/460998Nov 4, 2018Paper

Coccinellid host morphology dictates morphological diversity of the parasitoid wasp Dinocampus coccinellae

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Hannah VansantArun Sethuraman


Pararsitoid-host interactions involving host species that are newly introduced into the range of a generalist parasitoid provide systems that can be examined for phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary changes in parasitoid-host dynamics. The solitary Braconid parasitoid wasp, Dinocampus coccinellae, has a cosmopolitan distribution and parasitizes approximately 50 species of predatory lady beetles (ladybirds) in the family Coccinellidae. In this study we quantified the effect of six (4 native North American and 2 non-native North American) host species on the morphometrics of D. coccinellae. Adult lady beetles were collected from 13 locations in the United States and reared in the laboratory until D.coccinellae exited from their adult beetle hosts. Eighty-nine individual D. coccinellae females and their associated host were weighed and morphometric measurements were taken. The smallest lady beetle host Hippodamia parenthesis produced the smallest adult wasps; the largest host species, Coccinella septempunctata, produced the largest female wasps. A directional cline in morphology of wasps and their coccinellid hosts was also observed in a dry-weight regression (R2 = 0.4066, p-value < 0.0001). Two underlying mechanisms may explain...Continue Reading

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