Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insect Yields Clues To Evolution Of Species

Date:
May 23, 2002
Source:
University Of California - Santa Barbara
Summary:
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 week’s issue of Nature.

(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 week’s issue of Nature.

Related Articles


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.

"You’ve 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 don’t 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 indicates that adaptation to different habitats may play both a crucial and repeatable role in the early stages of speciation.

Authors Patrick Nosily and Bernard J. Crespi of Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada and Cristina Sandoval, of UC Santa Barbara, collaborated on this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Santa Barbara. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Santa Barbara. "Insect Yields Clues To Evolution Of Species." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020523075718.htm>.
University Of California - Santa Barbara. (2002, May 23). Insect Yields Clues To Evolution Of Species. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020523075718.htm
University Of California - Santa Barbara. "Insect Yields Clues To Evolution Of Species." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020523075718.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins