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|Type:||Artigo de periódico|
|Title:||Trade-offs underlying polyphagy in a facultative ant-tended florivorous butterfly: the role of host plant quality and enemy-free space|
|Abstract:||The underlying mechanisms mediating the use of multiple host plants were investigated in Parrhasius polibetes (Lycaenidae), a florivorous and facultative myrmecophilous butterfly. Plant traits such as presence of ant-treehopper associations as a source of enemy-free space, flower bud dimensions, toughness, thickness, trichomes, and the corresponding performance and wear of P. polibetes mandibles were examined for three natural hosts: Schefflera vinosa (Araliaceae), Pyrostegia venusta (Bignoniaceae) and Luehea grandiflora (Malvaceae). Parasitism levels of larvae found on the three hosts were also determined. Almost all Luehea had ant-treehopper associations, and all larvae found on this host were non-parasitized. Parasitism was low in larvae found on Schefflera, half of which hosted ant-treehopper associations. No ant-treehopper association was found on Pyrostegia, where parasitism was significantly higher compared to other hosts. In the laboratory, P. polibetes performed well on Schefflera, followed by Pyrostegia. No larvae survived when fed with Luehea. Flower buds of Luehea were thicker and tougher than those of Schefflera and Pyrostegia. Indeed, mandibles of larvae reared on Luehea showed substantial wear, whereas those reared either on Schefflera or Pyrostegia presented no significant damage. Additionally, we suggest that co-occurrence with ant-treehopper associations on a plant provides parasitoid-free space for P. polibetes larvae. Our results support the hypothesis that ecological trade-offs among host plants (i.e., food quality and enemy-free space) promote polyphagy in natural populations of P. polibetes. Host morphological traits seem to play a relevant role in P. polibetes performance. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing the costs of polyphagy in a myrmecophilous butterfly.|
|Appears in Collections:||Artigos e Materiais de Revistas Científicas - Unicamp|
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