Genetic differentiation in Scottish populations of the pine beauty moth, Panolis flammea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

A. J. Lowe, B. J. Hicks*, K. Worley, R. A. Ennos, J. D. Morman, G. Stone, A. D. Watt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pine beauty moth, Panolis flammea (Denis & Schiffermüller), is a recent but persistent pest of lodgepole pine plantations in Scotland, but exists naturally at low levels within remnants and plantations of Scots pine. To test whether separate host races occur in lodgepole and Scots pine stands and to examine colonization dynamics, allozyme, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and mitochondrial variation were screened within a range of Scottish samples. RAPD analysis indicated limited long distance dispersal (FST = 0.099), and significant isolation by distance (P < 0.05); but that colonization between more proximate populations was often variable, from extensive to limited exchange. When compared with material from Germany, Scottish samples were found to be more diverse and significantly differentiated for all markers. For mtDNA, two highly divergent groups of haplotypes were evident, one group contained both German and Scottish samples and the other was predominantly Scottish. No genetic differentiation was evident between P. flammea populations sampled from different hosts, and no diversity bottleneck was observed in the lodgepole group. Indeed, lodgepole stands appear to have been colonized on multiple occasions from Scots pine sources and neighbouring populations on different hosts are close to panmixia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-526
Number of pages10
JournalBulletin of Entomological Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005


  • Allozymes
  • Colonization
  • Dispersal
  • Host-shift
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Panolis flammea
  • Pinus contorta
  • Pinus sylvestris
  • RAPD


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