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The role of life-history and ecology in the evolution of color patterns in Australian chrysomeline beetles

Tan, Eunice J, Reid, Chris AM, Symonds, Matthew RE, Jurado-Rivera, José A and Elgar, Mark A 2017, The role of life-history and ecology in the evolution of color patterns in Australian chrysomeline beetles, Frontiers in ecology and evolution, vol. 5, pp. 1-15, doi: 10.3389/fevo.2017.00140.

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Title The role of life-history and ecology in the evolution of color patterns in Australian chrysomeline beetles
Author(s) Tan, Eunice J
Reid, Chris AM
Symonds, Matthew REORCID iD for Symonds, Matthew RE orcid.org/0000-0002-9785-6045
Jurado-Rivera, José A
Elgar, Mark A
Journal name Frontiers in ecology and evolution
Volume number 5
Article ID 140
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Publisher Frontiers Media
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publication date 2017-11
ISSN 2296-701X
2296-701X
Keyword(s) color pattern
anti-predator strategies
phylogenetic comparative methods
signaling conflicts
chrysomelines
Summary The variation in animal coloration patterns has evolved in response to different visual strategies for reducing the risk of predation. However, the perception of animal coloration by enemies is affected by a variety of factors, including morphology and habitat. We use the diversity of Australian chrysomeline leaf beetles to explore relationships of visual ecology to beetle morphology and color patterns. There is impressive color pattern variation within the Chrysomelinae, which is likely to reflect anti-predatory strategies. Our phylogenetic comparative analyses reveal strong selection for beetles to be less distinct from their host plants, suggesting that the beetle color patterns have a camouflage effect, rather than the widely assumed aposematic function. Beetles in dark habitats were significantly larger than beetles in bright habitats, potentially to avoid detection by predators because it is harder for large animals to be cryptic in bright habitats. Polyphagous species have greater brightness contrast against their host plants than monophagous species, highlighting the conflict between a generalist foraging strategy and the detection costs of potential predators. Host plant taxa-Eucalyptus and Acacia-interacted differently with beetle shape to predict blue pattern differences between beetle and host plant, possibly an outcome of different predator complexes on these host plants. The variety of anti-predator strategies in chrysomelines may explain their successful radiation into a variety of habitats and, ultimately, their speciation.
Language eng
DOI 10.3389/fevo.2017.00140
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, Tan, Reid, Symonds, Jurado-Rivera and Elgar
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30105842

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.