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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #301678

Research Project: SYSTEMATICS OF LEPIDOPTERA: INVASIVE SPECIES, PESTS, AND BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: Evidence of sexual selection in Neoleucinodes elegantalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae): correlation of female moth genitalia and Solanaceae host fruit size

Author
item Diaz, A. - Corpoica
item Gonzales, R. - Universidad De Colombia
item Solis, M
item Saldamando-benjumea, C. - University Of Colombia

Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/28/2014
Publication Date: 4/2/2015
Publication URL: http://aesa.oxfordjournals.org/content/108/3/272
Citation: Diaz, A.E., Gonzales, R., Solis, M.A., Saldamando-Benjumea, C.I. 2015. Evidence of sexual selection in Neoleucinodes elegantalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae): Correlation of female moth genitalia and Solanaceae host fruit size. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 108(3):272-281.

Interpretive Summary: The tomato fruit borer is a major pest of tomatoes in Central and South America. It is a member of a group of species of which very little is known about or the biology. The accurate identification of this group of species is critical to quarantine because none of the included species occur in the U.S. Because the United States is the second largest producer of tomatoes in the world with more than $2 billion in annual farm cash receipts, this species could threaten an important agricultural commodity. Four groups or genetic biotypes were additionally distinguished by variation in size of female genitalic structures. This information will be useful to scientists, action agencies or quarantine identifiers, and biological control workers.

Technical Abstract: Neoleucinodes elegantalis is a Neotropical moth considered a quarantine pest in the family Solanaceae. In previous studies, this species has shown population genetic structure FST =0.57 (P<0.0001) based on host plant associations. This genetic differentiation is further demonstrated here based on adult female genitalic variation from larvae collected in five species of cultivated Solanaceae (Capsicum annuum, Solanum betaceum, S. lycopersicum, S. melongena and S. quitoense) and four wild species (S. atroporpureum, S. acerifolium, S. crinitum, and S. hirtum). Seven morphological characters of the female genitalia were examined. The allometric slope between the right anterior apophysis and length of the right wing was 0.39 suggesting that female genitalia are under sexual selection. Multivariate analysis was performed using principal and cluster components to generate specific groups based on similarity using Euclidean and Ward distance methods. Four groups or biotypes were distinguished by variation in size of female genitalic structures. It appears that the variation in genitalic structures is closely associated with the size of its host fruit and may have been important in the divergence of the four host races.