We examined intra-population variation in oviposition preference in the pierid butterfly, Colias eurytheme. Females' preferences were tested in the laboratory, using two-way choice tests between the potential hosts, alfalfa and vetch. There were consistent differences in oviposition preference among females within a population. Larval and adult experience had little or no effect on females' preference. These results suggest that the intra-population variation in oviposition preference is genetically based, but the results of experiments designed to estimate the heritability of oviposition preference were not conclusive. We suggest that intra-population variation in host selection characters may play a key role in shifts to new host plants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics