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Contact: Nicolle Wahl
nicolle.wahl@utoronto.ca
905-569-4656
University of Toronto

Specialist Seed Predator

Caption: The larvae of the seed feeding moth Mompha brevivitella devouring the seeds of common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis). The larvae of this moth exclusively feed on the fruits of evening primrose and in response to natural selection imposed by this and other moth species, evening primrose populations evolve to flower later and to produce high levels of toxic chemicals called ellagitannins in their fruits. This evolution effectively reduces damage to the plantís seeds.

Credit: Marc Johnson

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Related news release: Everyday evolution


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