HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Insect yields clues to evolution of species

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) Studies of a California insect, the walking stick, are helping to illuminate the process of evolution of new species, according to research published in this weeks issue of Nature.

The insect, Timema cristinae, named for Cristina Sandoval, a researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara who was the first to discover it, is found in the Santa Ynez Mountains on two types of plants. Essentially the walking sticks have evolved to look like a leaf of the plant they inhabit. Birds and lizards are its main predators.

"Youve got to have very good camouflage to trick a bird," said Sandoval, noting that birds have very good vision and are visual predators.

The insect exhibits two genetically determined color patterns. The unstriped insect is more commonly found on the plant Ceanothus spinosus (commonly called blue lilac) and a striped design is more common on those insects inhabiting the plant Adenostoma fasciculatum (commonly called chemise).

According to the study, the research provides the first clear demonstration that host-plant adaptation can promote the parallel evolution of reproductive isolation. The researchers tested hundreds of insects in the lab and found that those inhabiting the same type of plant were more likely to mate with each other than they were to mate with those residing on different plants -- even though they are the same species. The research indicates that habitat may play a crucial role in the early stages of separation into different species (speciation).

"We dont know why, but something about adapting to a host plant smell, size, or a combination of things drives this reproductive isolation," said Sandoval. "This is an example of speciation in process."

Additionally, information from DNA sequences revealed that such divergence in mating preferences and morphology has evolved numerous times in this species, according to the article. Thus, the research indica
'"/>

Contact: Gail Brown
gail.brown@ia.ucsb.edu
805-893-7220
University of California - Santa Barbara
22-May-2002


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Insecticide resistance: A constraint on evolutionary change
2. The scoop on poop: Insect feces, dead leaves may provide clues to health of world
3. Insect antibiotics Resistance is futile!
4. Insects survival, mating decrease with age in wild, researchers discover
5. Insect infestation models may shed light on insect and disease outbreaks
6. Insect bites on plants reduce photosynthesis, imaging device shows
7. Insects caught in a nutrient-poor food web
8. Insect defenses point the way to defeating bacterial antibiotic resistance
9. Bugscope Gives Internet Users Anywhere Chance To Study Insects
10. A Mothers Love? New UD Theory Explains Why Good Insect Moms Risk Death To Save Their Only Children
11. Human/Insect/Jellyfish Genes Team To Quiet "Hyper" Nerve Cells

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 The report "Gesture Recognition and ... Industry, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market ... CAGR of 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. Continue ... ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 21, 2017 Vigilant Solutions , ... law enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment of retired ... of public safety business development. Mr. Sheridan ... experience, including a focus on the aviation transportation sector, ... recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation Liaison ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... -- Future of security: Biometric Face Matching software  ... ... Face Matching enables to match face pictures against each other or against large ... Identification Systems) ... is the fastest software for biometric Face Matching on the market. The speed ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... ... Cambridge Semantics , the leading provider of Big Data management and analytics ... in Boston May 23-25 with a featured speaker and solution demos of its ... also a finalist for the Best of Show award. , James LaPointe, Managing Director ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... Ovation Fertility ... the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB) and the College of Reproductive Biology (CRB) ... reinforces AAB’s commitment to excellence in clinical laboratory services and regulations. , ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 18, 2017 , ... Lajollacooks4u has added another ... a two-hour team-building package designed for groups of 10-30 people. Guests can ... include items, such as Blackened Shrimp with Edamame Salad, Pizza Rolls with Pepperoni ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... ... optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, is honored that ... for Medical Devices conference in Brussels, Belgium. , Crowley played a crucial role ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: