Lack of evidence for reproductive isolation among ecologically specialised lycaenid butterflies

C C Nice, J A Fordyce, A M Shapiro, R Ffrench-Constant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

1. The evolution of reproductive isolation between recently diverged or incipient species is a critical component of speciation and a major focus of speciation models. In phytophagous insects, host plant fidelity (the habit of mating and ovipositing on a single host species) can contribute to assortative mating and reproductive isolation between populations adapting to alternative hosts. The potential role of host plant fidelity in the evolution of reproductive isolation was examined in a pair of North American blue butterfly species, Lycaeides idas and L. melissa. 2. These species are morphologically distinct and populations of each species utilise different host plants; however they share 410 by haplotypes of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene, indicating recent divergence. 3. Some populations using native hosts exhibited strong fidelity for their natal host plant over the hosts used by nearby populations. Because these butterflies mate on or near the host plant, the development of strong host fidelity may create reproductive isolation among populations on different hosts and restrict gene flow. 4. Tests of population differentiation using allozyme allele frequency data did not provide convincing evidence of restricted gene flow among populations. Based on morphological differences, observed ecological specialisation, and the sharing of genetic markers, these butterflies appear to be undergoing adaptive radiation driven at least partially by host shifts. Neutral genetic markers may fail to detect the effects of very recent host shifts in these populations due to gene flow and/or the recency of divergence and shared ancestral polymorphism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)702-712
Number of pages11
JournalEcological Entomology
Volume27
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Fingerprint

reproductive isolation
butterfly
butterflies
host plant
host plants
gene flow
genetic marker
Lycaeides
divergence
assortative mating
alternative hosts
adaptive radiation
genetic markers
phytophagous insects
allozyme
allozymes
cytochrome-c oxidase
cytochrome
gene frequency
plant development

Cite this

Nice, C. C., Fordyce, J. A., Shapiro, A. M., & Ffrench-Constant, R. (2002). Lack of evidence for reproductive isolation among ecologically specialised lycaenid butterflies. Ecological Entomology, 27(6), 702-712.

Lack of evidence for reproductive isolation among ecologically specialised lycaenid butterflies. / Nice, C C; Fordyce, J A; Shapiro, A M; Ffrench-Constant, R.

In: Ecological Entomology, Vol. 27, No. 6, 2002, p. 702-712.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nice, CC, Fordyce, JA, Shapiro, AM & Ffrench-Constant, R 2002, 'Lack of evidence for reproductive isolation among ecologically specialised lycaenid butterflies', Ecological Entomology, vol. 27, no. 6, pp. 702-712.
Nice, C C ; Fordyce, J A ; Shapiro, A M ; Ffrench-Constant, R. / Lack of evidence for reproductive isolation among ecologically specialised lycaenid butterflies. In: Ecological Entomology. 2002 ; Vol. 27, No. 6. pp. 702-712.
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