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Heritability of Oviposition Preference and its Relationship to Offspring Performance Within a Single Insect Population

M. C. Singer, D. Ng and C. D. Thomas
Evolution
Vol. 42, No. 5 (Sep., 1988), pp. 977-985
DOI: 10.2307/2408913
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2408913
Page Count: 9
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Heritability of Oviposition Preference and its Relationship to Offspring Performance Within a Single Insect Population
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Abstract

Within a population of the butterfly Euphydryas editha that oviposits predominantly on two host species, heritable variation in postalighting oviposition preference was found. In a separate experiment, oviposition preference of adult females was found to be correlated with offspring performance (growth). There was a significant tendency for offspring to perform better on the host species that their female parent preferred. Analysis of the data showed that no single factor, neither maternal preference nor the host species on which the offspring were raised, accounted for any significant variation in larval performance. However, the effect of the interaction between host species and maternal preference on offspring performance was highly significant. These findings imply specialization in both oviposition preference and offspring performance by individuals within a single population. With present evidence, this preference-performance correlation is likely to be genetic. However, as in previous studies, other interpretations cannot be excluded.

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