Our Research Interests
Ecology and the Evolution of Life Histories:
- Body Size
- Sexual Size Dimorphism
- Egg Size
- Phenotypic Plasticity
- Aging and Senescence
- Maternal Effects
- Inbreeding Depression
- Diet Evolution
- Adaptation to Host Plants
Insect Behavioral Ecology:
- Egg Laying Decisions
- Sexual Selection on Body Size / Sexual Dimorphism
Our Beetles & Legumes
Here at the Fox lab we primarily work with bean beetles (Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae). These beetles, commonly referred to as bruchid beetles, are an excellent model system. Their life history makes for easy lab rearing.
Female beetles will glue their eggs to seeds, where offspring will subsequently burrow in and feed until maturation. Adult beetles emerge from seeds, mate and lay eggs, continuing the cycle.
The species we have in the lab do not require food or water, so maintaining colonies of numerous species and using these beetles for experiments is relatively easy. Bruchid beetles vary between species and across populations within species in many interesting behavioral and physiological traits. Even larval behavior is interesting in these beetles.
These traits make these beetles simple, interesting and exciting to work with in our lab! For photos of our beetles and legumes click here.
In our lab we have active colonies of:
- Callosobruchus maculatus from Yemen, Mali, Brazil, and California
- Callosobruchus chinensis
- Callosobruchus rhodesianus
- Acanthoscelides obtectus
- Mung bean (Vigna radiata)
- Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata)
- Lentil (Lens culinaris)
- Adzuki bean (Vigna angularis)
- Catclaw acacia (Senagalia greggii)
- Whitethorn acacia (Vachellia constricta)
- Texas Ebony (Ebenopsis ebano)
- Foothill palo verde (Parkinsonia microphylla)
- Blue palo verde (Parkinsonia florida)