, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 185-197

First online:

The evolutionary relationship between adult oviposition preferences and larval host plant range in Papilio machaon L.

  • C. WiklundAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, University of Stockholm

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In Papilio machaon host plant utilization is argued to be proximally guided by adult and larval preferences, both of which are genetically determined. To decide whether these preferences are controlled by one or two gene complexes, oviposition preferences and larval survival of a Scandinavian population were investigated with regard to all potential host plants in the region. The experiments revealed a substantial difference between the potential host plant ranges of the adults and the larvae, indicating that adult and larval host plant preferences are determined by separate gene complexes.

Based on this inference, a theoretical model is developed for the co-evolutionary relationship between adult oviposition preferences and larval feeding preferences for species in which the host plant choice is exercised by the adults.