Skip to main content

Data from: The origin and genetic differentiation of the socially parasitic aphid Tamalia inquilinus

Cite this dataset

Miller, Don G. et al. (2015). Data from: The origin and genetic differentiation of the socially parasitic aphid Tamalia inquilinus [Dataset]. Dryad.


Social and brood parasitisms are nonconsumptive forms of parasitism involving the exploitation of the colonies or nests of a host. Such parasites are often related to their hosts and may evolve in various ecological contexts, causing evolutionary constraints and opportunities for both parasites and their hosts. In extreme cases, patterns of diversification between social parasites and their hosts can be coupled, such that diversity of one is correlated with or even shapes the diversity of the other. Aphids in the genus Tamalia induce galls on North American manzanita (Arctostaphylos) and related shrubs (Arbutoideae) and are parasitized by nongalling social parasites or inquilines in the same genus. We used RNA sequencing to identify and generate new gene sequences for Tamalia and performed maximum-likelihood, Bayesian and phylogeographic analyses to reconstruct the origins and patterns of diversity and host-associated differentiation in the genus. Our results indicate that the Tamalia inquilines are monophyletic and closely related to their gall-forming hosts on Arctostaphylos, supporting a previously proposed scenario for origins of these parasitic aphids. Unexpectedly, population structure and host-plant-associated differentiation were greater in the non-gall-inducing parasites than in their gall-inducing hosts. RNA-seq indicated contrasting patterns of gene expression between host aphids and parasites, and perhaps functional differences in host-plant relationships. Our results suggest a mode of speciation in which host plants drive within-guild diversification in insect hosts and their parasites. Shared host plants may be sufficient to promote the ecological diversification of a network of phytophagous insects and their parasites, as exemplified by Tamalia aphids.

Usage notes


Western United States