Body size and feeding specificity: macrolepidoptera in Britain

Body size and feeding specificity: macrolepidoptera in Britain Within a geographic assemblage, large‐bodied species of macrolepidopteran moths tend, on average, to be less host‐specific than small‐bodied. Five possible explanations for this pattern are identified, based respectively on (i) phylogenetic relationships between species, (ii) latitudinal gradients in body size and feeding specificity, (iii) the relationship between range size and body size, (iv) larger body size as a buffer from environmental variation, and (v) the relationship between endophagous host associations and small body size. These mechanisms are tested using data for British macrolepidoptera and also evaluated using evidence from the literature at large. Although some of their assumptions are found to be justified, there is no significant support for any single mechanism. This lack of evidence for previously proposed mechanisms is discussed in the light of a recently proposed alternative explanation which combines theories of host quality and host defence mechanisms. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Journal of the Linnean Society Wiley

Body size and feeding specificity: macrolepidoptera in Britain

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0024-4066
eISSN
1095-8312
DOI
10.1111/j.1095-8312.1998.tb01642.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Within a geographic assemblage, large‐bodied species of macrolepidopteran moths tend, on average, to be less host‐specific than small‐bodied. Five possible explanations for this pattern are identified, based respectively on (i) phylogenetic relationships between species, (ii) latitudinal gradients in body size and feeding specificity, (iii) the relationship between range size and body size, (iv) larger body size as a buffer from environmental variation, and (v) the relationship between endophagous host associations and small body size. These mechanisms are tested using data for British macrolepidoptera and also evaluated using evidence from the literature at large. Although some of their assumptions are found to be justified, there is no significant support for any single mechanism. This lack of evidence for previously proposed mechanisms is discussed in the light of a recently proposed alternative explanation which combines theories of host quality and host defence mechanisms.

Journal

Biological Journal of the Linnean SocietyWiley

Published: Jan 1, 1998

Keywords: ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

References

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