Diaprepes abbreviatus is an important pest of cultivated plants of the West Indies east from Hispaniola. It displays a distinctive variation in the vittae and background color of the elytra, ranging from white through yellow to intense ochre and brown. It is extremely polyphagous, occurring also on numerous wild plants. Compsus maricao, endemic in the Cordillera Central of Puerto Rico, does not display a similar color variation and is oligophagous, living on a few wild plants. Genic variation in these species was studied with starch gel electrophoresis. The amount of variability was low and there was no apparent correlation to the color variants within D. abbreviatus. The genetic distance between the two species is great.
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