Insect Herbivores of Ferns along the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America
Keywords:Wood fern, Sword fern, Bracken, Hymenoptera, Hemiptera, Diptera, Lepidoptera, Coleoptera
Fifteen species of insect herbivores were discovered on ferns growing along the Pacific northwest coast of North America. These included insects from the orders: Diptera in the families Anthomyiidae, Cecidiomyiidae and Syrphidae: Lepidoptera in the families Erebidae, Tortricidae and Noctuidae: Hymenoptera in the family Tenthredinidae: Hemiptera in the family Aphididae and Coleoptera in the family Curculionidae. The present study illustrates these associations that provides new world and North American host records of fern herbivores. The fossil record of these families is used to determine if the most ancient of these insects (dating from the Mesozoic) are now mostly restricted to ferns and the most recent ones (dating from the Cenozoic) are mostly polyphagous, feeding on ferns as well as various angiosperms. Results indicate that the insect clades belonging to the most ancient families, such as Aneugmenuss and Strongylogaster in the Tenthredinidae and Dasineura and Mycodiplosis in the Cecidiomyiidae, appear to be monophagous on ferns.
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