The influence of host plant variation and intraspecific competition on oviposition preference and offspring performance in the host races of Eurosta solidaginis

Timothy P. Craig, Joanne K. Itami, Cathleen Shantz, Warren G. Abrahamson, John D. Horner, James V. Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

1. A series of experiments was conducted to measure the impact of plant genotype, plant growth rate, and intraspecific competition on the oviposition preference and offspring performance of the host races of Eurosta solidaginis (Diptera: Tephritidae), a fly that forms galls on Solidago altissima and Solidago gigantea (Asteraceae). Previous research has shown that both host races prefer to oviposit on their own host plant where survival is much higher than on the alternate host plant. In this study, neither host race showed any relationship between oviposition preference and offspring performance in choosing among plants of their natal host species. 2. The larval survival of both host races differed among plant genotypes when each host race oviposited on its natal host species. In one experiment, altissima host race females showed a preference among plant genotypes that was not correlated with offspring performance on those genotypes. In all other experiments, neither the altissima nor gigantea host race demonstrated a preference for specific host plant genotypes. 3. Eurosta solidaginis had a preference for ovipositing on rapidly growing ramets in all experiments, however larval survival was not correlated with ramet growth rate at the time of oviposition. 4. Eurosta solidaginis suffered high mortality from intraspecific competition in the early larval stage. There was little evidence, however, that females avoided ovipositing on ramets that had been attacked previously. This led to an aggregated distribution of eggs among ramets and strong intraspecific competition. 5. There was no interaction among plant genotype, plant growth rate, or intraspecific competition in determining oviposition preference or offspring performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-18
Number of pages12
JournalEcological Entomology
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2000

Keywords

  • Eurosta solidaginis
  • Gall
  • Herbivory
  • Host races
  • Intraspecific competition
  • Offspring performance
  • Oviposition discrimination
  • Oviposition preference
  • Solidago altissima
  • Sympatric speciation

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