Divergent host plant preference causes assortative mating between sympatric host races of the ladybird beetle, henosepilachna diekei

Kei W. Matsubayashi, Sih Kahono, Haruo Katakura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Divergent host preference (i.e. host fidelity) plays a significant role in the speciation process in phytophagous insects. However, how and to what extent this divergence reduces gene flow between populations has rarely been measured. Here, we estimated the intensity of assortative mating caused solely by host fidelity in two host races of the phytophagous ladybird beetle Henosepilachna diekei, specialized on Mikania micrantha (Asteraceae) and Leucas lavandulifolia (Lamiaceae) in West Java, Indonesia. These host races mated randomly in the absence of host plants under laboratory conditions, but demonstrated nearly complete assortative mating in field cages with the two host plants, by spending almost all of their time on their respective host plants. The frequency of assortative mating in the field cages was not affected drastically by host plant patch structure. These results suggest that fidelity to the different host plants yields directly almost complete reproductive isolation between the host races by limiting the habitat on the respective host plant. In addition, the high host fidelity also ensures female oviposition on the original host plant. As larvae cannot survive on non-host plants, a positive association between female oviposition preference and larval performance on the host plant on which the beetles are specialized will further facilitate the evolution of host fidelity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-614
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume110
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

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assortative mating
Coccinellidae
host plant
beetle
host plants
Coleoptera
oviposition
Indonesia
cages
Mikania micrantha
Leucas
host preference
Henosepilachna
host preferences
reproductive isolation
phytophagous insects
Lamiaceae
gene flow
Asteraceae
divergence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Divergent host plant preference causes assortative mating between sympatric host races of the ladybird beetle, henosepilachna diekei. / Matsubayashi, Kei W.; Kahono, Sih; Katakura, Haruo.

In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 110, No. 3, 01.11.2013, p. 606-614.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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