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Evolution of Food Preferences in Fungus-Feeding Drosophila: An Ecological Study

Masahito T. Kimura
Evolution
Vol. 34, No. 5 (Sep., 1980), pp. 1009-1018
DOI: 10.2307/2408009
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2408009
Page Count: 10
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Evolution of Food Preferences in Fungus-Feeding Drosophila: An Ecological Study
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Abstract

The fungus-feeding Drosophila species of the immigrans radiation and the Hirtodrosophila radiation showed different adaptations to mushrooms. The members of the immigrans radiation retain the original saprophagous habit and do not specialize in their fungus preferences. They seem to select hosts not by chemical uniqueness or nutritional value of mushrooms themselves, but by microorganisms growing on the mushrooms or their products. Such a situation is considered to support their polyphagy for mushrooms. On the other hand, adults of the members of the Hirtodrosophila radiation have a preference for fresh mushrooms, although their larvae prefer the decayed ones like those of the species of the immigrans radiation. This difference between adult and larval preferences may relate to different conditions of mushrooms between the time of oviposition and the larval stages. The species which showed a stronger preference for fresh mushrooms specialized more on the family Tricholomataceae. Drosophila trivittata shows a strong preference for mushrooms of the genus Pleurotus which are found through the breeding seasons of flies in various environments in considerable abundance, but D sexvittata and D. alboralis did not show such clear preference for these mushrooms. Predictability and abundance of mushrooms and competitive interactions between flies probably govern host specialization. Accompanied by the change in the fungus preference, D. sexvittata and D trivittata innovated a new ovipositing habit, on the lamellae rather than the stipe or upper surface of the pileus.

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