Origin of gall-inducing from leaf-mining in Caloptilia micromoths (Lepidoptera, Gracillariidae)

Abstract : In insects, the gall-inducing life-style has evolved independently many times. Several evolutionary pathways leading to this lifestyle have been proposed. While there is compelling evidence supporting surface-feeders and stem-borers as ancestral states of insect gall-inducers, an evolutionary pathway from leaf-miners remains hypothetical. Here we explored this question by comparing the developmental processes of two micromoths, a gall-inducer Caloptilia cecidophora (Lep., Gracillariidae), and its non-gall-inducing relative C. ryukyuensis. Like other Caloptilia, the first and second instars of C. cecidophora are leaf-miners and the gall is initiated inside the leaf mine by the third instar, thus suggesting leaf-mining as an ancestral, plesiomorphic state in this case. This is the first example of an insect species switching from leaf-mining to gall-inducing during larval development. The first two leaf-mining instars of C. cecidophora exhibit an absence of growth and a reduced time duration compared to C. ryukyuensis. The shortening of the duration of leaf-mining stages is apparently compensated in C. cecidophora by a larger egg size than C. ryukyuensis, and an additional larval instar during the gall phase.
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Antoine Guiguet, Issei Ohshima, Carlos Lopez Vaamonde, Seiji Takeda, Françoise Laurans, et al.. Origin of gall-inducing from leaf-mining in Caloptilia micromoths (Lepidoptera, Gracillariidae). Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2019, 9, pp.6794. ⟨10.1038/s41598-019-43213-7⟩. ⟨hal-02318844⟩

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