How far away is the next basket of eggs? Spatial memory and perceived cues shape aggregation patterns in a leaf beetle

Stephan, J. G. and Stenberg, J. A. and Bjorkman, C. (2015) How far away is the next basket of eggs? Spatial memory and perceived cues shape aggregation patterns in a leaf beetle. Ecology, 96 (4). pp. 908-914. ISSN 0012-9658

[img] PDF
Stephan et al. 2015.pdf
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (149kB)
Official URL: <Go to ISI>://WOS:000353038200003

Abstract

Gregarious organisms need to handle the trade-off between increasing food competition and the positive effects of group living, and this is particularly important for ovipositing females. We hypothesized that insect females consider how many conspecifics previously visited a host plant. In a no-choice assay, we show that the gregarious blue willow leaf beetle (Phratora vulgatissima) laid the most eggs and the largest clutches on plants where a sequence of few individual females was released, compared to plants where one or many different females were repeatedly released. Therefore, this species is more sensitive to the indirectly perceived number of conspecifics than the directly perceived number of eggs on a plant. We further hypothesized that females adjust their own intra-plant egg clutch distribution to that of conspecifics and discovered a new behavioral component, i.e., the modulation of distances between clutches. Females adjusted these distances in ways indicating the use of spatial memory, because the largest distance increases were observed on plants with their own clutches, compared to plants with clutches from conspecifics. However, adjustment of aggregation level and distance between clutches occurred only on a suitable, and not on an unsuitable, Salix genotype. We conclude that both behaviors should reduce competition between sibling and non-sibling larvae.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Future Forest Subject: Skogsbruk i klimatförändringens tid > Natur
Depositing User: Christer Enkvist
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2017 14:23
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2017 14:23
URI: https://ffpdb.slu.se/id/eprint/3748

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item