Evolution of Wing Pigmentation Patterns in a Tephritid Gallmaker: Divergence and Hybridization

  • Jonathan M. Brown
  • Idelle Cooper


Wing pigmentation patterns are commonly used for taxonomic identification in many groups of gall-making flies in the family Tephritidae; however, neither the functional significance nor the mechanisms of evolutionary change in these characters have been well studied. We applied a quantitative image analysis approach to measure wing-pattern variation and differentiation in populations of the goldenrod gall fly Eurosta solidaginis. A large body of work by Abrahamson and coworkers has established that “host races” have emerged from within the eastern U.S. subspecies, E. solidaginis solidaginis, via a shift from an ancestral hostplant species (Solidago altissima [Asteraceae]) to a derived host species (S. gigantea). The image analysis demonstrated that host races are significantly differentiated in wing patterns at a sympatric site. We also quantified wing-pattern variation across a hybrid zone in Iowa between the named subspecies of E. solidaginis, which are distinguished taxonomically solely based on wing-pattern differences. The presence of intermediate wing patterns suggests hybridization between wing forms. These results suggest that host shifts provide barriers strong enough to allow populations to diverge in wing patterns, but that neither sympatric host shifts nor wing pattern differences evolved during periods of geographic isolation provide complete barriers to gene flow.

Key words

Speciation Tephritidae Eurosta solidaginis Wing patterns Image analysis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

22.6 References

  1. Abrahamson WG, Weis AE (1997) Evolutionary ecology across three trophic levels: goldenrods, gallmakers, and natural enemies. Monographs in Population Biology 29, Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  2. Abrahamson WG, Blair CP, Eubanks MD, Morehead SA (2003) Sequential radiation of unrelated organisms: the gall fly Eurosta solidaginis and the tumbling flower beetle Mordellistena convicta. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 16:781–789PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brown JM, Abrahamson WG, Way PA. (1996) mtDNA phylogeography of host races of the goldenrod ball gallmaker (Diptera: Tephritidae: Eurosta solidaginis). Evolution 50:777–786CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown JM, Todd-Thompson M, McCord A, O’Brien A, O’Fallon B (in press) Phylogeny, host association, and wing pattern variation in the endemic Hawaiian tephritids. (Tephritidae: Tephritini). Instrumentas BiodiversitatisGoogle Scholar
  5. Bush GL (1969) Sympatric host race formation and speciation in frugivorous flies of the genus Rhagoletis (Diptera: Tephritidae). Evolution 23:237–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Condon ML, Norboom AL (1994) Three sympatric species of Blephaneura (Diptera: Tephritidae) on a single species of host (Guarania spinulosa, Cucurbitaceae): new species and new taxonomic methods. Systematic Entomology 19:279–304Google Scholar
  7. Craig TP, Itami JK, Abrahamson WG, Horner JD (1994) Behavioral evidence for host-race formation in Eurosta solidaginis. Evolution 47:1696–1710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Craig TP, Horner JD, Itami JK (1997) Hybridization studies on the host races of Eurosta solidaginis: implications for sympatric speciation. Evolution 51:1552–1560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Craig TP, Abrahamson WG, Itami JK, Horner JD (1999) Oviposition preference and offspring performance of Eurosta solidaginis on genotypes of Solidago altissima. Oikos 86:119–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Craig TP, Itami JK, Horner JD (2001) Genetics, experience, and host-plant preference in Eurosta solidaginis: implications for host shifts and speciation. Evolution 55:773–782PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Faust L, Brown JM (1998) Sexual selection via female choice in the gall-making fly Eurosta solidaginis Fitch (Diptera: Tephritidae). In: Csoka G, Mattson WJ, Stone GN, Price PW (eds) The biology of gall-inducing arthropods. General Technical Report NC-199. USDA Forest Service, North Central Research Station, St. Paul, pp 82–89Google Scholar
  12. Foote RH, Blanc FL, Norrbom AL (1993) Handbook of the fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) of America north of Mexico. Cornell University Press, IthacaGoogle Scholar
  13. Greene E, Orsak LJ, Whitman DW (1987) A tephritid fly mimics the territorial displays of it jumping spider predators. Science 236:310–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Headrick DH, Goeden RD (1999) Behavior of flies in the subfamily Tephritinae. In: Aluja M, Norboom AL (eds) Fruit flies (Tephritidae): phylogeny and evolution of behavior. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 671–710Google Scholar
  15. How ST, Abrahamson WG, Craig TP (1993) Role of host plant phenology in host use by Eurosta solidaginis (Diptera: Tephritidae) on Solidago (Compositae). Environmental Entomology 22:388–396Google Scholar
  16. Itami JK, Craig TP, Horner JD (1998) Factors affecting gene flow between the host races of Eurosta solidaginis. In: Mopper S, Strauss SY (eds) Genetic structure and local adaptation in natural insect populations. Chapman and Hall, New York, pp 375–407Google Scholar
  17. Mather MH, Roitberg, BD (1987) A sheep in wolf’s clothing: tephritid flies mimic spider predators. Science 236:308–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. O’Fallon, B (2001) Wingmeasure: a plug-in for ImageJ. Available at Scholar
  19. Rasband, W (2001) ImageJ: Image processing and analysis in Java. Available at Scholar
  20. Sivinski J, Aluja M, Dodson GN, Friedberg A, Headrick DH, Kaneshiro KY, Landholt PJ (1999) Topics in the evolution of sexual behavior in the Tephritidae. In: Aluja M, Norboom AL (eds) Fruit flies (Tephritidae): phylogeny and evolution of behavior. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 751–792Google Scholar
  21. True JR, Edwards KA, Yamamoto D, Carroll SB (1999) Drosophila wing melanin patterns form by vein-dependent elaboration of enzymatic prepatterns. Current Biology 9: 1382–1391PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Waring GL, Abrahamson WG, Howard DJ (1990) Genetic differentiation among host-associated populations of the gallmaker Eurosta solidaginis (Diptera: Tephritidae). Evolution 44:1648–1655CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan M. Brown
    • 1
  • Idelle Cooper
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyGrinnell CollegeGrinnellUSA

Personalised recommendations