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Animals often express behavioral preferences for different types of food or other resources, and these preferences can evolve or shift following association with novel food types. Shifts in preference can involve at least two phenomena: a change in rank preference or a change in specificity. The former corresponds to a change in the order in which hosts are(More)
The genetic and ecological factors that shape the evolution of animal diets remain poorly understood. For herbivorous insects, the expectation has been that trade-offs exist, such that adaptation to one host plant reduces performance on other potential hosts. We investigated the genetic architecture of alternative host use by rearing individual Lycaeides(More)
The role of ecology in diversification has been widely investigated, though few groups have been studied in enough detail to allow comparisons of different ecological traits that potentially contribute to reproductive isolation. We investigated larval performance within a species complex of Lycaeides butterflies. Caterpillars from seven populations were(More)
The colonization of exotic plants by herbivorous insects has provided opportunities for investigating causes and consequences of the evolution of niche breadth. The butterfly Lycaeides melissa utilizes exotic alfalfa, Medicago sativa, which is a relatively poor larval resource, and previous studies have found that caterpillars that consume M. sativa develop(More)
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