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1 April 2014 Spatial Genetic Pattern in an Economically Beneficial Insect, the Cyclical African Wild Silk Moth (Gonometa postica)
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Abstract

The African wild silk moth (Gonometa postica) exhibits large inter-annual population size fluctuations in the Kalahari region of southern Africa. Spent cocoons from this species are currently being utilized in a local silk industry. An understanding of the recolonization dynamics of a particular harvested site, and of the population genetic effects of such dispersal, are crucial for designing a scientifically-based harvesting strategy. I link morphological estimates of flying ability to microsatellite genotyping in the determination of dispersal ability of this species. Morphological results suggest that the moth is a poor disperser with high wing loadings and males are better fliers than females. There is a significant effect of isolation-bydistance. Spatial population genetic analyses of microsatellite data further indicate lower and upper bounds on dispersal of 90 m and 50 km. The combined evidence suggests male-biased dispersal over several dozen kilometers with females that do not disperse over large distances. I discuss the potential influences of large population size fluctuations on patterns of genetic diversity and the implications for the inference of dispersal in my study species.

Timothy C. Bray "Spatial Genetic Pattern in an Economically Beneficial Insect, the Cyclical African Wild Silk Moth (Gonometa postica)," African Zoology 49(1), 94-106, (1 April 2014). https://doi.org/10.3377/004.049.0104
Received: 12 September 2013; Accepted: 1 January 2014; Published: 1 April 2014
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