The host preference of a specialist beetle varies geographically.
What is it about?
We determined that the origin of a specialist herbivore beetle (Stolas punicea) affected its preference over plants (Mikania micrantha) from distinct geographical regions and different chemical composition. Beetles preferred to feed on plants from locations closer to their own origin and this apparent local adaptation may hinder their potential as a biological control for the invasive weed.
Why is it important?
The use of insects for biological control of invasive plants requires we determine its capacity to establish and cause severe damage on all the chemical phenotypes of its host. We showed that populations of a specialist beetle may vary significantly in their host preference and this is highly relevant to their potential as a biocontrol species.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Angel E Bravo-Monzón
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