Homologies and Host-Plant Specificity: Recurrent Problems in the Study of Thrips
AbstractPrecise studies on the structure and behavior of thrips can be particularly difficult, due to their small size and restless behavior. As a result, many “host-plant” records are no more than casual “finding places” with limited biological significance. Definitions of “host-plant” are complicated by situations where a plant species provides an important feeding or behavioral resource, but is not used for breeding. Similarly, failure to clearly define some structures on a thrips body, often due to inadequate technical and microscopy skills, can lead to faulty interpretation of species identities and evolutionary relationships. This article re-examines some of these problems.
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