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vol. 177, no. 6 the american naturalist june 2011 Evolution of Specialization: A Phylogenetic Study of
 

Summary: vol. 177, no. 6 the american naturalist june 2011
Evolution of Specialization: A Phylogenetic Study of
Host Range in the Red Milkweed Beetle
(Tetraopes tetraophthalmus)
Sergio Rasmann1,
* and Anurag A. Agrawal2
1. Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne­Biophore, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland; 2. Department of Ecology and
Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853
Submitted May 26, 2010; Accepted February 4, 2011; Electronically published May 3, 2011
Online enhancement: appendix. Dryad data: http://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8557.
abstract: Specialization is common in most lineages of insect her-
bivores, one of the most diverse groups of organisms on earth. To
address how and why specialization is maintained over evolutionary
time, we hypothesized that plant defense and other ecological at-
tributes of potential host plants would predict the performance of a
specialist root-feeding herbivore (the red milkweed beetle, Tetraopes
tetraophthalmus). Using a comparative phylogenetic and functional
trait approach, we assessed the determinants of insect host range
across 18 species of Asclepias. Larval survivorship decreased with
increasing phylogenetic distance from the true host, Asclepias syriaca,

  

Source: Agrawal, Anurag - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Entomollogy, Cornell University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology