To investigate local adaptation of insect herbivore populations to host plant populations, willow flea beetles (Altica subplicata) were collected from two distant sites in northern Michigan (Grass Bay, GB; Pte. Aux Chenes, PAC) and reared on host plants (Salix cordata) collected from each of the sites. Larval development (measured by molt frequency and length of larval stage) was significantly faster on PAC plants than on GB plants but did not differ for the two beetle populations. For both populations of beetles, mean pupal weight was also greater on PAC plants than on GB plants. Thus, there was no evidence for adaptation of beetle populations to local host plant populations. The greater performance of A. subplicata on PAC plants most likely resulted from a lower trichome density on leaves of plants from that site.
Milanowski, Dennis J. and Bach, Catherine E.
"Between-Site Variation in Suitability of Salix Cordata as a Host for Altica Subplicata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae),"
The Great Lakes Entomologist: Vol. 26
, Article 1.
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/tgle/vol26/iss4/1