Thesis On Parasitism

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Biogeographic analyses indicate that Miletinae likely diverged from an African ancestor near the start of the Eocene, and four lineages dispersed between Africa and Asia.

Phylogenetic constraint in prey selection is apparent at two levels: related miletine species are more likely to feed on related Hemiptera and are also more likely to associate with closely related ants species, either directly by eating the ants, or indirectly by eating hemipteran prey attended by those ants.

To do this, level of stress was determined through behavioral observations while binomial infection status and infection densities of parasitic helminth groups was determined through collection of fecal samples and a variety of diagnostic techniques.

These translocated individuals showed higher helminth eggs per gram (EPG) than their wild counterparts.

This system provided a highly controlled environment in which to expose parasites and their hosts to acidified seawater.

Exposure to acidified seawater caused a significant decrease in the longevity of the free-living transmission stages of trematode parasites, although the magnitude of this effect varied between species and appeared to correlate with their life histories.

I sampled both species from populations throughout their entire known ranges, and found that in contrast to C. protumnus has exceedingly small effective population sizes and individuals disperse poorly. protumnus exhibits a high degree of host dependence and specialization.

Although these results are correlative and based on only a single comparison, it seems likely that small population sizes and extreme ecological specialization make populations of T.

I then examined the influence of diet on the population structure of lycaenid butterflies, and more specifically, I investigated whether particular feeding habits are correlated with traits that might make species vulnerable to extinction.

To do this, I compared the phylogeography and population genetics of two endemic lycaenid species of roughly similar age from southern Africa: Chrysoritis chrysaor, whose caterpillars are strictly herbivorous, and Thestor protumnus, whose cuckoo-like caterpillars survive by soliciting regurgitations from their host ants.

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