Title

Life history is correlated with population structure in endangered Bay Area butterflies

Poster Number

24

Lead Author Major

Biological Sciences and International Relations

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Ryan Hill

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract/Artist Statement

Speyeria coronis and S. callippe are both species native to the San Francisco Bay Area and western states generally. Both species reside in the same habitat, under similar living conditions and using the same resources. The species are similar in many ways, yet S. callippe has a federally listed endangered subspecies (S. c. callippe) whereas S. coronis has no endangered subspecies. Dramatic differences in the life histories of these two species could be the key to understanding both why S. callippe and other Speyeria have endangered populations, and how to develop conservation plans to restore S. c. callippe. In the Bay Area, S. c. coronis experiences a reproductive diapause, where after mating in early summer the females fly about seeking flower nectar and live for 3-4 months. In the fall, their ovaries mature and they are able to lay eggs on their chosen host plant. In contrast the life cycle of Bay Area S. callippe populations (S. c. callippe and S. c. comstocki) are very different and lack a reproductive diapause. Instead, the females lay their eggs directly after mating in early summer, often in the same area the parents hatched from, and live only a few weeks. This difference in life histories suggests a difference in genetic diversity between the two species, with S. callippe persisting as relatively isolated, genetically distinct subpopulations, and S. coronis in contrast persisting as one large population and showing little population structure. The purpose for our research project is thus to answer the question of how the differences in breeding patterns in S. coronis and S. callippe are reflected in the genetic structure of the two species.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

30-4-2016 1:30 AM

End Date

30-4-2016 3:30 PM

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Apr 30th, 1:30 AM Apr 30th, 3:30 PM

Life history is correlated with population structure in endangered Bay Area butterflies

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Speyeria coronis and S. callippe are both species native to the San Francisco Bay Area and western states generally. Both species reside in the same habitat, under similar living conditions and using the same resources. The species are similar in many ways, yet S. callippe has a federally listed endangered subspecies (S. c. callippe) whereas S. coronis has no endangered subspecies. Dramatic differences in the life histories of these two species could be the key to understanding both why S. callippe and other Speyeria have endangered populations, and how to develop conservation plans to restore S. c. callippe. In the Bay Area, S. c. coronis experiences a reproductive diapause, where after mating in early summer the females fly about seeking flower nectar and live for 3-4 months. In the fall, their ovaries mature and they are able to lay eggs on their chosen host plant. In contrast the life cycle of Bay Area S. callippe populations (S. c. callippe and S. c. comstocki) are very different and lack a reproductive diapause. Instead, the females lay their eggs directly after mating in early summer, often in the same area the parents hatched from, and live only a few weeks. This difference in life histories suggests a difference in genetic diversity between the two species, with S. callippe persisting as relatively isolated, genetically distinct subpopulations, and S. coronis in contrast persisting as one large population and showing little population structure. The purpose for our research project is thus to answer the question of how the differences in breeding patterns in S. coronis and S. callippe are reflected in the genetic structure of the two species.