Ecological monophagy in Tasmanian
Graphium macleayanum moggana with evolutionary reflections of ancient angiosperm hosts
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Scriber, JM and Allen, GR and Walker, PW, Ecological monophagy in Tasmanian
Graphium macleayanum moggana with evolutionary reflections of ancient angiosperm hosts, Insect Science, 13, (6) pp. 451-460. ISSN 1672-9609 (2006) [Refereed Article]
Abstract Local host plant specialization in an insect herbivore may be caused by numerous factors, including host-specific natural enemy pressures or a local lack of suitable host-plant choices that are available elsewhere in its range. Such local specialization or “ecological monophagy”, for whatever reason, may reflect reduced ability to behaviourally accept or physiologically utilize other allopatric hosts that are naturally used elsewhere by the species. We tested this feeding specialization hypothesis using the Tasmanian subspecies of Macleay's swallowtail butterfly, Graphium macleayanum moggana (Papilionidae), which uses only a single host-plant species, Antherosperma moschatum (southern sassafras, of the Monimiaceae). Further north, this same butterfly species (G. m. macleayanum) uses at least 13 host-plant species from seven genera and four families (Lauraceae, Rutaceae, Winteraceae, and Monimiaceae). Our larval feeding assays with G. m. moggana from Tasmania showed that certain Magnoliaceae and Lauraceae could support some larval growth to pupation. However, such growth was slower and survival was lower than observed on their normal southern sassafras host (Monimiaceae). We also found that toxicity of particular plant species varied tremendously within plant families (for both the Magnoliceae and the Monimiaceae). © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Asia.
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