Certain aphid species produce sterile soldiers, morphologically and behaviorally specialized individuals that defend fertile colony members, some or all of which are clonemates. If the soldier morph is maintained by inclusive fitness advantages, its altruism should preferentially benefit relatives, suggesting a potential role for kin discrimination. We performed a field experiment on spatial segregation and two laboratory experiments on agonistic behavior among non-soldiers and by soldiers of the cerataphidine aphid, Ceratovacuna japonica. For the test of spatial segregation, we introduce a new method of nearest-neighbor analysis, by constructing a minimum spanning tree from the map of individual locations and comparing the numbers of within-group and between-group connections. The results provide no evidence of kin recognition abilities in this species. Members of different clones showed no tendency to segregate spatially, nor to direct displacement attempts against non-kin when competing for feeding sites. Soldiers were indiscriminately aggressive toward early instar reproductives from their own and other colonies. We discuss the implications of these findings for several evolutionary hypotheses on the maintenance of the soldier morph in aphids.
For several species of lepidoptera, most of the similar to 350-bp mitochondrial control-region sequences were determined. Six of these species are in one genus, Jalmenus; are closely related; and are believed to have undergone recent rapid speciation. Recent speciation was supported by the observation of low interspecific sequence divergence. Thus, no useful phylogeny could be constructed for the genus. Despite a surprising conservation of control-region length, there was little conservation of primary sequences either among the three lepidopteran genera or between lepidoptera and Drosophila. Analysis of secondary structure indicated only one possible feature in common-inferred stem loops with higher-than-random folding energies-although the positions of the structures in different species were unrelated to regions of primary sequence similarity. We suggest that the conserved, short length of control regions is related to the observed lack of heteroplasmy in lepidopteran mitochondrial genomes. In addition, determination of flanking sequences for one Jalmenus species indicated (i) only weak support for the available model of insect 12S rRNA structure and (ii) that tRNA translocation is a frequent event in the evolution of insect mitochondrial genomes.
Larvae and pupae of the Australian lycaenid butterfly, Jalmenus evagoras Donovan (Lepidoptera; Lycaenidae), are protected from parasites and predators by attendant ants. In return, the juveniles of J.evagoras secrete to the ants a solution containing substantial amounts of sugars and amino acids. Larvae of J.evagoras were reared from hatching until adult eclosion either with or without ants. Experiments were performed to examine whether fifth (final) instar larvae attempt to compensate for the nutrient loss to ants, by consuming more food, digesting food more efficiently, or extending development time. The presence or absence of ants had no effect on the feeding rate, efficiency of digestion or development time of fifth instar larvae. Larvae with ants converted a smaller proportion of ingested food into biomass, and consequently grew less than their counterparts without ants. Thus fifth instar larvae of J.evagoras do not appear to compensate for the nutrient loss to ants. Possible reasons for the failure to compensate are discussed.
1. Juveniles of the Australian lycaenid butterfly, Jalmenus evagoras (Donovan), secrete to ants a solution of sugars and amino acids, primarily serine. The attendant ants protect the larvae and pupae from parasites and predators.2. The effect of caterpillar nutrition on the defence provided by ants was investigated. Potted food plants of Acacia decurrens were either given water containing nitrogenous fertilizer or were given water alone. Fertilized plants had a higher nitrogen content than unfertilized plants.3. Fifth instar larvae of J.evagoras feeding on fertilized plants attracted a larger ant guard than those feeding on unfertilized plants. In the absence of caterpillars, ants were not differentially attracted to fertilized and unfertilized plants.4. In the presence of ants, over a 10-day period, larvae on fertilized plants survived better than larvae on unfertilized plants. In the absence of ants larvae survived equally on fertilized and unfertilized plants. It is concluded that larvae on fertilized plants attracted a larger ant guard, and thereby survived better, than larvae on unfertilized plants.5. Adult females of J.evagoras preferred to lay egg batches on fertiizedd rather than unfertilized plants, but they did not lay larger egg batches.
Many organisms make a living from seratching each other's backs. and many survive at the expense of othcrs. Once a complex interaction has arisen between two organisms. what elfect can such a relationship have on their subsequcnt cvolution·! This pllpcr will consider thc evolutionary conscquences of ussocintions UIllOlIg Iycllcnid buttcrflics, their host plants, unts. purusitoids. lind prcdators. Thc Lycacllidac llfC cspecially intcrc.'1ting from an ccologicul and evolutionary pcrspcctivc because they exhibit dramatic variety in their life histories. The larvae of many species associate with ants, and these relationships can be parasitic. commensal, or mutualistic. larvae cun be carnivorous or hcrbivorous: and some species interact with many species of ants, whereas others are species-specific. It is partly because of this complexity and diversity that the lycaenidae have not been studied as intensively as other buUerny families, and I will discuss at least three problems that have hampered our understanding of their ecology and evolution. In particular. more must be learned about the nature of the exocrine secretions of lycaenid larvae, and whether they function to reward. appease, and/or deceive their associated ants. The association between lycaenids and ants has had several important evolutionary consequences, and I will show how these relate to the question of why there are so many species of Iycaenid buuernies. Finally. I will discuss an unresolved pattern in the biogeography oflycaenid buuernies: association with ants in general, and species-specific interactions in particular, are far more common among Iycaenids found in Ethiopian, Oriental. and Australasian regions than among those from the Holarctic.