Host range evolution is not driven by the optimization of larval performance: the case of Lycaeides melissa (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) and the colonization of alfalfa

Oecologia
Matthew L ForisterZachariah Gompert

Abstract

Herbivorous insects that have recently incorporated novel hosts into their diet provide unique opportunities for understanding factors that promote or constrain the evolution of niche breadth. Lycaeides melissa has colonized both cultivated and feral alfalfa (Medicago sativa) throughout much of North America within the past 200 years. We investigated the quality of the novel host as a resource for juvenile development, and asked if the novel host is a preferred host for oviposition relative to a native host (Astragalus canadensis). Larval-performance and oviposition-preference were examined using L. melissa individuals from a population associated with both M. sativa and A. canadensis, and oviposition-preference was also examined in another population associated exclusively with M. sativa. In addition, we investigated the effects of M. sativa and A. canadensis flowers on both preference and performance. Only one of the hosts, M. sativa, has flowers that are accessible to nectaring butterflies, and we hypothesized that the presence of flowers could affect female behavior. We find that the novel host is a relatively poor larval resource: adults that were reared as larvae on M. sativa were roughly one-third the size of adults that...Continue Reading

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Citations

Jul 9, 2010·Proceedings. Biological Sciences·James A Fordyce
Oct 29, 2013·Annual Review of Entomology·Lisa M Knolhoff, David G Heckel
Nov 5, 2010·Proceedings. Biological Sciences·Matthew L ForisterJames A Fordyce
Jan 24, 2013·Environmental Entomology·G A S M GanehiarachchiMarion O Harris
Mar 28, 2013·Ecology and Evolution·Zachariah GompertMatthew L Forister
Apr 7, 2015·Journal of Insect Science·Joshua P JahnerMatthew L Forister
Aug 11, 2016·Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution·Meredith L Cenzer
Apr 5, 2018·Molecular Ecology·Samridhi ChaturvediZachariah Gompert
Mar 29, 2019·The Journal of Animal Ecology·Gordon P SmithDaniel R Papaj
Sep 14, 2017·Scientific Reports·Samridhi ChaturvediZachariah Gompert
Dec 10, 2019·Bulletin of Entomological Research·G A ValladaresP C Fernández
Mar 22, 2018·Environmental Entomology·Kondwani R Msangosoko, Mark A Boetel
Jun 4, 2020·Ecology and Evolution·Matthew L ForisterZach Gompert
Nov 29, 2020·Science Advances·M L ForisterZ Gompert
Jan 24, 2021·Journal of Evolutionary Biology·Pablo E AllenChristine W Miller

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