Event Title

Scales and Ceanothus: An Analysis of Diaspid Distribution in San Diego County

Loading...

Media is loading
 

Description

Armored scale insects (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) are plant-feeding insects with species that have a usually high host range. Females are sessile for the majority of their life cycles, and juveniles are wind dispersed. Scale species are largely cryptic and are best collected through large-scale host sampling over large geographic ranges. Their mode of dispersal and generalist diet can be a driving force for speciation events. One particular host genus (Ceanothus) has multiple species found throughout the chapparal of the coastal mountain ranges in central California and Baja California. Currently, 28 species of armored scale are recorded as associates of Ceanothus, but it is unknown what the disparity and diversity in attack rate is amongst these species. These data are necessary to understand the ecological dynamics in this host-plant association. Here, I present the results of large-scale sampling of Ceanothus found throughout the San Diego County of California. Photography and morphological analyses will allow for species identifications based on characteristics in the literature (insect size, scale coloration, location on host plant) and will test specific hypotheses regarding species differences and host associations. Genetic analyses will confirm species identifications and provide insight into the force behind potential speciation events. Conclusions drawn from this analysis will provide insight into cryptic species diversity and speciation mechanisms for generalist insects. More specifically, information on host plant association and genetic information will be essential in understanding the relationship between cryptic species morphology, genetic diversity, and generalist speciation tendencies.

Ben Snow.pdf (129 kB)

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Scales and Ceanothus: An Analysis of Diaspid Distribution in San Diego County

Armored scale insects (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) are plant-feeding insects with species that have a usually high host range. Females are sessile for the majority of their life cycles, and juveniles are wind dispersed. Scale species are largely cryptic and are best collected through large-scale host sampling over large geographic ranges. Their mode of dispersal and generalist diet can be a driving force for speciation events. One particular host genus (Ceanothus) has multiple species found throughout the chapparal of the coastal mountain ranges in central California and Baja California. Currently, 28 species of armored scale are recorded as associates of Ceanothus, but it is unknown what the disparity and diversity in attack rate is amongst these species. These data are necessary to understand the ecological dynamics in this host-plant association. Here, I present the results of large-scale sampling of Ceanothus found throughout the San Diego County of California. Photography and morphological analyses will allow for species identifications based on characteristics in the literature (insect size, scale coloration, location on host plant) and will test specific hypotheses regarding species differences and host associations. Genetic analyses will confirm species identifications and provide insight into the force behind potential speciation events. Conclusions drawn from this analysis will provide insight into cryptic species diversity and speciation mechanisms for generalist insects. More specifically, information on host plant association and genetic information will be essential in understanding the relationship between cryptic species morphology, genetic diversity, and generalist speciation tendencies.