Dec 22, 2009

Differences in preference and performance of the water lily leaf beetle, Galerucella nymphaeae populations on native and introduced aquatic plants

Environmental Entomology
Jianqing Ding, Bernd Blossey


Plant invasions represent ecological opportunities for herbivorous insects able to exploit novel host plants. The availability of new hosts and rapid adaptations may lead to host race formation and ultimately speciation. We studied potential host race formation in the water lily leaf beetle, Galerucella nymphaeae, in response to invasion by water chestnut, Trapa natans, in eastern North America. This leaf beetle is well suited for such studies because previous work showed that different herbivore populations follow different "evolutionary pathways" and specialize locally in response to differences in habitat preferences and host plant availability. We compared host preference and performance of G. nymphaeae offspring originating from T. natans and offspring of individuals originating from an ancestral host Nuphar lutea, yellow water lily, on T. natans and three native hosts (N. lutea, Nympheae odorata, and Brasenia schreberi). Regardless of origin (Trapa or Nuphar), adults strongly preferred their native host, N. lutea, over T. natans. Although laboratory survival rates (larva to pupa) were extremely high (80%) regardless of origin or host offered, survival rates in a common garden were greatly reduced, particularly for T. nata...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Neuro-Oncological Ventral Antigen 2
Biochemical Pathway
Galerucella nymphaeae
Host-Parasite Interactions
Nymphaea odorata
Trapa natans
Notonecta lutea
Neptunia lutea

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