The evolutionary history of the interaction among species of derelomine flower weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Derelomini) and the Panama-hat palm Carludovica (Cyclanthaceae) is analysed with emphasis on the congruence of (1) topologies and (2) character state transformations in each of the Neotropical clades. For this purpose cladistic analyses are complemented with host plant records, natural history information and selected morphological studies of the associated taxa. The interaction is specialized, involving pollination, oviposition into the inflorescences and the predation of seeds (particularly within Systenotelus). As results from a range of standard coevolutionary methods of analysis indicate, however, events of colonization, extinction and independent (non-reciprocal) speciation have been abundant throughout the history of the association. At the same time it is possible to specify the homology and succession of characters among species of derelomines and Carludovica and interpret them as reciprocal adaptations to attack and protect the seeds, respectively. It is argued that - in light of the limited evolutionary stability of many insect-plant interactions - the question of coevolution is most effectively addressed by combining information from the character- and topology-based approaches.
- Reciprocal adaptation
- Seed predation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics