Gall inducers take a leap: host‐range differences explain speciation opportunity (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae)
Phytophagous insects that specialise on broadly distributed plant groups are exposed to host‐species diversity gradients. The gall‐inducing thrips genus Kladothrips (Froggatt) that specialise on Australian Acacia Mill. (Mimosoideae: Leguminosae, subgenus Phyllodineae DC.) is expected to exhibit variation in host range that is dependent on host ecology. Host Acacia species distributions show structuring between the arid Eremean and non‐arid biomes of the monsoonal tropics and temperate south‐western and south‐eastern Australia. We investigate two aspects of host use in: (1) the Kladothrips rugosus species complex that specialises on hosts whose distributions overlap among sibling lineages on different Acacia species; and (2) Kladothrips nicolsoni that specialises on a species that is relatively isolated from hosts of sibling lineages. First, several approaches that use DNA sequence data are combined to infer putative species among K. rugosus lineages collected from multiple Acacia species using: phylogenetic inference; statistical parsimony;
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Flinders University, Sturt Road, Bedford Park, Adelaide, SA 5042, Australia.
Publication date: November 1, 2011