Data from: Genetic differentiation associated with host plants and geography among six widespread species of South American Blepharoneura fruit flies (Tephritidae)
Ottens, Kristina et al. (2017), Data from: Genetic differentiation associated with host plants and geography among six widespread species of South American Blepharoneura fruit flies (Tephritidae), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2v54j
Tropical herbivorous insects are astonishingly diverse and many are highly host-specific. Much evidence suggests that herbivorous insect diversity is a function of host-plant diversity; yet, the diversity of some lineages exceeds the diversity of plants. Although most species of herbivorous fruit flies in the Neotropical genus Blepharoneura are strongly host-specific (they deposit their eggs in a single host plant species and flower sex), some species are collected from multiple hosts or flowers and these may represent examples of lineages that are diversifying via changes in host use. Here, we investigate patterns of diversification within six geographically widespread Blepharoneura species that have been collected and reared from at least two host-plant species or host-plant parts. We use microsatellites to: 1) test for evidence of local genetic differentiation associated with different sympatric hosts (different plant species or flower sexes); and 2) examine geographic patterns of genetic differentiation across multiple South American collection sites. In four of the six fly species, we find evidence of local genetic differences between flies collected from different hosts. All six species show evidence of geographic structure, with consistent differences between flies collected in the Guianan Shield and flies collected in Amazonia. Continent-wide analyses reveal - in all but one instance - that genetically differentiated flies collected in sympatry from different host species or different sex flowers are not one another's closest relatives, indicating that genetic differences often arise in allopatry before, or at least coincident with, the evolution of novel host use.
National Science Foundation, Award: DEB 1145355, 1542269, 1542451