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Reproductive Isolation by Host Specificity in a Pair of Phytophagous Ladybird Beetles

Haruo Katakura, Miyuki Shioi and Yumi Kira
Evolution
Vol. 43, No. 5 (Aug., 1989), pp. 1045-1053
DOI: 10.2307/2409584
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409584
Page Count: 9
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Reproductive Isolation by Host Specificity in a Pair of Phytophagous Ladybird Beetles
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Abstract

Crossing experiments and food-choice tests show that two sympatric species of phytophagous ladybird beetles, Epilachna niponica and E. yasutomii, are reproductively isolated by host-plant specificity. Adult beetles selected their natural hosts when given choices, though some accepted the host of the other species when no choice was offered. In each species, survival of larvae to the second instar was significantly higher on their own host plant. No evidence for sexual isolation, gametic isolation, hybrid inviability, or reduced hybrid fertility was detected. Reproductive isolation by host specificity is an important prerequisite for certain models of sympatric speciation. Although the present example supports the plausibility of such models, an allopatric origin of host-plant specificity cannot be discounted.

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