Oviposition Behaviour (oviposition + behaviour)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Harem size and oviposition behaviour in a polygynous bark beetle

Abstract. 1. Harem polygyny can have fitness benefits and costs on females. In bark beetles of the genus Ips the latter may include within-harem competition between larvae. However, earlier competition between females for male care and mating opportunities may also influence oviposition behaviour. There has been relatively little investigation into the relationship between harem size and initial egg output. The present study investigated this relationship in the bark beetle Ips grandicollis. 2. The measure of egg output used was the number of eggs in the gallery with the most eggs in each harem. Mean (±SE) harem size of 242 observed harems was 3.25 ± 0.10. A curvilinear relationship was found between egg output and harem size, with females in smaller harems (one to four females) laying more eggs with increased harem size. However, females in larger harems (five to seven females) laid fewer eggs as harem size increased. The optimal harem size (in terms of number of eggs laid) was close to four females. 3. We found no evidence from a behavioural assay that females could preferentially choose unmated males over mated males with harems of two females. Additionally, the distribution of harem sizes suggests that females distribute themselves among males randomly. 4. The results suggest that harem size has effects on female reproduction that extend beyond larval competition and influence patterns of oviposition. The mechanism that determines why egg laying is greatest at intermediate levels is unknown. There is no evidence that smaller harems belong to lower quality males, but females may adjust egg-laying behaviour in large harems as a result of reduced male attendance or anticipated larval competition. [source]

Inconsistent use of host plants by the Alaskan swallowtail butterfly: adult preference experiments suggest labile oviposition strategy

Abstract 1.,The Alaskan swallowtail butterfly (Papilio machaon aliaska) uses three unrelated plant species as hosts: Cnidium cnidiifolium (Apiaceae), Artemisia arctica (Asteraceae), and Petasites frigidus (Asteraceae). The research presented here investigated whether there are any consistent patterns in host choice by P. m. aliaska females. 2.,The first two experiments were designed to test if P. m. aliaska host preference is constant or if it changes from day to day. If host preference is labile, the experiments were designed to also test whether a female's diet breadth narrows or expands over time. 3.,The third experiment tested the host preferences of female offspring from several wild-caught P. m. aliaska females. If P. m. aliaska individuals are specialised in their host use, then all of the offspring from a single female would likely prefer the same host-plant species. This experiment was also designed to test the Hopkins' host selection principle; does the food plant on which a female is reared as a larva influence her future choices when she is searching for host plants for her own offspring? 4.,The results from all of these experiments indicate that P. m. aliaska females vary greatly in their oviposition behaviour and in their preferences for the three host plants. Most populations appear to consist of generalists with labile oviposition behaviour. There is no evidence to support the Hopkins' host selection principle. 5.,It is suggested that the generalised selection of host plants by P. m. aliaska females may be a ,bet-hedging' strategy and that this strategy may maximise reproductive fitness in an unpredictable environment. [source]

Oviposition decreased in response to enriched water: a field study of the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii

Abstract 1.,Environmental cues are known to influence oviposition behaviour in mosquitoes, with important consequences for larval survival and insect population dynamics. Enriched microhabitats have been shown to be preferred oviposition sites. 2.,In a field experiment designed to determine whether ovipositing mosquitoes are sensitive to different levels of nutrient enrichment, new pitcher-plant (Sarracenia purpurea) leaves were opened and enriched with 0, 2, or 20 dead ants, and the number of pitcher-plant mosquito (Wyeomyia smithii) larvae resulting from subsequent oviposition were measured. 3.,Oviposition rates were higher in leaves with low levels of enrichment (0 and 2 ants per leaf), although larval development was enhanced at the highest enrichment level. 4.,Results suggest that, although these mosquito larvae are nutrient limited, ovipositing females preferentially avoid highly enriched leaves. This counterintuitive result may be due to low oxygen concentrations or a masked cue in enriched leaves, and contrasts with other oviposition studies. [source]

Trade-off in oviposition strategy: choosing poor quality host plants reduces mortality from natural enemies for a salt marsh planthopper

Abstract 1.,Both host plant nutrition and mortality from natural enemies have been predicted to significantly impact host plant selection and oviposition behaviour of phytophagous insects. It is unclear, however, if oviposition decisions maximise fitness. 2.,This study examined whether the salt marsh planthopper Pissonotus quadripustulatus prefers higher quality host plants for oviposition, and if oviposition decisions are made so as to minimise mortality at the egg stage. 3.,A controlled laboratory experiment and 4 years of field data were used to assess the rates of planthopper oviposition on higher quality ,green' and lower quality ,woody' stems of the host plant Borrichia frutescens. The numbers and percentages of healthy eggs and eggs that were killed by parasitoids or the host plant were recorded. 4.,In all years, including the laboratory experiment, Pissonotus planthoppers laid more eggs on lower quality woody stems than on higher quality green stems. While host plant related egg mortality was higher in woody stems, the percentage of eggs parasitised was much greater in green stems. This resulted in a lower total mortality of eggs on woody stems. 5.,The results of this study demonstrate that, although Pissonotus prefers lower quality host plants for oviposition, this actually increases fitness. These data seem to support the enemy free space hypothesis, and suggest that for phytophagous insects that experience the majority of mortality in the egg stage, oviposition choices may be made such that mortality is minimised. [source]

Preference and performance of the hyperparasitoid Syrphophagus aphidivorus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae): fitness consequences of selecting hosts in live aphids or aphid mummies

R. Buitenhuis
Abstract., 1.,Theoretical models predict that ovipositional decisions of parasitoid females should lead to the selection of the most profitable host for parasitoid development. Most parasitoid species have evolved specific adaptations to exploit a single host stage. However, females of the aphid hyperparasitoid Syrphophagous aphidivorus (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) display a unique and atypical oviposition behaviour by attacking either primary parasitoid larvae in live aphids, or parasitoid pupae in dead, mummified aphids. 2.,In the laboratory, the correlation between host suitability and host preference of S. aphidivorus on the host Aphidius nigripes Ashmead parasitising the aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Thomas) was investigated. 3.,The relative suitability of the two host stages was determined by measuring hyperparasitoid fitness parameters (survival, development time, fecundity, sex ratio, and adult size of progeny), and calculating the intrinsic rate of population increase (rm). Host preference by S. aphidivorus females and the influence of aphid defence behaviour on host selection was also examined. 4.,Hyperparasitoid offspring performance was highest when developing from hosts in aphid mummies and females consistently preferred this host to hosts in parasitised aphids. Although aphid defensive behaviour may influence host selection, it was not a determining factor. Ecological and evolutionary processes that might have led to dual oviposition behaviour in S. aphidivorus are discussed. [source]

Cascading effects of variation in plant vigour on the relative performance of insect herbivores and their parasitoids

Tiit Teder
Abstract 1. Consequences of variation in food plant quality were estimated for a system consisting of two monophagous noctuid herbivores and three ichneumonid parasitoids. 2. In a natural population, pupal weights of the herbivores in this system, Nonagria typhae and Archanara sparganii, were found to be highly variable. Pupal weights increased strongly and consistently with the increase in the vigour of the host plant, Typha latifolia, providing support for the plant vigour hypothesis. Correspondingly, as the moths do not feed as adults, a strong, positive correlation between host vigour and fecundity of the herbivores would be expected. 3. There were strong and positive relationships between adult body sizes of the parasitoids and the sizes of their lepidopteran hosts. Moreover, a direct, positive link between plant quality and parasitoid size was documented. 4. For all three parasitoids, cascading effects of plant quality on body size were weaker than for the herbivores. Differences in the importance of adult feeding and oviposition behaviour suggest that dependence of fitness on body size is also weaker in the parasitoids than in the moths. It is therefore concluded that the numerical response of the herbivore population to a change in plant quality should exceed the corresponding response in the parasitoids. 5. The results of this work imply that variation in plant variables may affect performance of different trophic levels to a different extent. It is suggested that the importance of adult feeding for the reproductive success (capital vs. income breeding strategies) in both herbivores and parasitoids is an essential aspect to consider when predicting responses of such a system to changes in plant quality. [source]

Holly leaf-miners on two continents: what makes an outbreak species?

Sabine Eber
Summary 1. Some herbivore species periodically undergo damaging, high-density outbreak phases followed by less damaging low-density phases. Others maintain steady, low to moderate density levels that do little damage to their hosts. 2. Two closely related holly leaf-miner species were compared that share many ecological traits and have very similar life cycles, but only one of which exhibits outbreaks. Phytomyza ilicicola in the eastern U.S.A. varied widely in mortality and infestation levels, reaching local densities of over 10 mines per leaf. In contrast, Phytomyza ilicis in the U.K. showed low infestation and high mortality at all sites. Using data from the literature and from field studies, the factors responsible for these contrasting dynamics were sought. 3. Phytomyza ilicicola oviposits into the leaf lamina, and experiences weak larval competition only at high densities. Phytomyza ilicis oviposits into the leaf midrib, which leads to high mortality of young larvae before mine formation. Multiply mined leaves were therefore very common in P. ilicicola but rare in P. ilicis. 4. Differences in the parasitoid complexes of the two systems accounted for further differences in survival to adulthood. The main (larval) parasitoid, which was found to impose high, density-dependent mortality on P. ilicis, is missing on P. ilicicola. It is replaced by an egg,pupal parasitoid, which varies in its impact at differe,t sites. Multiple emergence of adults from multiply mined leaves is therefore widespread in P. ilicicola but does not occur in P. ilicis. 5. The differences in oviposition behaviour and in the parasitoid complexes are likely to allow P. ilicicola to outbreak when habitat conditions are favourable, while P. ilicis is always tightly regulated. [source]

Plants, gall midges, and fungi: a three-component system

Odette Rohfritsch
Abstract Larvae of gall midges (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) induce the activation of plant cells, partial cell lysis, and differentiation of nutritive tissue. Specialized nutritive tissue is essential for larval development and plays a key role in gall organization. Midges of the tribes Lasiopterini and Asphondyliini, however, do not induce nutritive tissues as part of the formation of their galls. Instead, these ,ambrosia galls' contain fungal mycelia that line the interior surface of the chambers. The fungi not only provide Lasiopterini with nutrition, they also penetrate the stems, induce the lysis of the middle lamella of host cells, and open a channel to the vascular bundles. Larvae of Lasioptera arundinis (Schiner) (Lasiopterini) follow the fungus and feed on its mycelium along with adjoining stem cells of Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. (Poaceae). Eggs together with fungal conidia are deposited by the imago on the host. Asphondyliini use a needle-like ovipositor to introduce fungal conidia and eggs into the organs they attack. Larvae of Schizomyia galiorum Kieffer (Asphondyliini) are unable to initiate the gall or to develop in the flowers of Galium mollugo L. (Rubiaceae) without their fungal associate. In this article, I provide an overview of oviposition behaviour in the Asphondyliini, as well as descriptions of the ovipositor and the female post-abdominal segments. Gall formation by Lasiopterini and Asphondyliini and the role of associated fungi are discussed, as is the role of the fungus as an inquiline or an organizer of gall tissues and a nutritive device. [source]

Physical and chemical cues influencing the oviposition behaviour of Aphidius ervi

Donatella Battaglia
Abstract The oviposition behaviour of the aphid parasitoid Aphidius ervi Haliday is influenced by both chemical and physical cues. Oviposition attack responses were elicited by paint pigments sealed into the tip of a glass capillary tube. Parasitoids reacted to yellow pigments with repeated oviposition attack responses, but they did not react to green pigments. The spectrum of reflected light from the yellow pigments was very similar to that from the ,green' natural host Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris), with a high proportion of the total radiation energy being emitted in the yellow-orange wavebands (580,660 nm). Pea aphid cornicle secretion also elicited oviposition attack responses, which were not exclusively induced by its pale yellow-green colour. In fact, the oviposition attack response to capillary tips coated with cornicle secretion remained evident under red light conditions, which, in contrast, nearly completely suppressed the response to yellow pigments. Chemical compounds from cornicle secretion do not appear to be involved in parasitoid orientation, even though they stimulate intense oviposition attack responses. Olfactometer experiments showed that the putative kairomone involved acts only at very short range or on contact. Host exuviae, which also elicited strong and persistent oviposition reactions from A. ervi females, appear to be a good alternative source of ovipositional kairomone(s). This work confirms the existence of an aphid cuticular kairomone. [source]

Oviposition Preferences in Newts: Does Temperature Matter?

ETHOLOGY, Issue 6 2009
Jan Dvo
A female's decision where and when to place her eggs has important fitness consequences for her offspring. Although temperature is considered among the most relevant abiotic factors affecting female oviposition site choice in ectotherms, little is known about the relative importance of temperature cues in complex oviposition decisions. In this study, we examined female's oviposition choice under conflicting demands for temperature and embryo protection by studying oviposition behaviour in female alpine newts, Triturus alpestris, exposed to various thermal conditions and the availability of egg-wrapping vegetation. Females oviposited between 12.5 and 22.5°C in the aquatic thermal gradient (5,32.5°C) with the unrestricted availability of oviposition vegetation. The removal of the vegetation from predominantly chosen oviposition temperatures (15,20°C) induced egg-retention in most females. This suggests that both temperature and the presence of egg-wrapping vegetation play important roles in oviposition site choice of alpine newts. [source]

A Quantified Ethogram for Oviposition in Triturus Newts: Description and Comparison of T. helveticus and T. vulgaris

ETHOLOGY, Issue 4 2005
Karen M. Norris
Female newts of the genus Triturus deposit and wrap their eggs individually in the submerged leaves of aquatic macrophytes. Although this behaviour has previously been described, the different elements of the oviposition process have not been fully characterized nor any attempt made to quantify the behavioural elements. The study examined the oviposition behaviour of the two similarly sized species, Triturus helveticus and T. vulgaris on a standardized substrate macrophyte, Rorippa nasturtium,aquaticum. Continuous focal sampling was used to develop a baseline of discrete behavioural elements enabling quantification and comparison of oviposition behaviour between the two species. The results showed that the same pattern of elements was followed for each egg laid and the same key elements of the process were present in each newt species. Although these are broadly similar in size, there were striking differences in certain aspects of the oviposition sequence between the two species. Key findings were that leaf sniffing and leaf flexing and a measure of the duration of ovipositing were all significantly greater in females of T. helveticus and females of T. vulgaris laid significantly more eggs than those of T. helveticus in a standard observation period. The work presented here defines a baseline ethogram and shows how it can be used to reveal quantifiable differences in closely related species. This demonstrates its value in furthering our understanding of oviposition , a key aspect of female behaviour currently understudied in Triturus behavioural ecology, despite its intrinsic interest and value in understanding recruitment and maintenance of populations. [source]

Oviposition and feeding preference of Acrolepiopsis assectella Zell. (Lep., Acrolepiidae)

J. Allison
Abstract:, The leek moth, Acrolepiopsisassectella (Zell.), is a recently discovered exotic species in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. This Allium spp. (Asparagales, Alliaceae) specialist can cause up to 40% crop damage. A no-choice experiment was used to determine the relationship between oviposition behaviour and larval survival of the leek moth as the phylogenetic distance from the preferred host Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum L. increased. Results indicate that oviposition preference and larval survival of the leek moth declined as the phylogenetic distance from the preferred host increased. These results support the conclusion that the leek moth is a specialist feeder on closely related Allium spp. although the strength of this preference may decline as the motivation to oviposit increases. This may indicate that the leek moth is able to use closely related novel hosts as temporary refuges if the preferred host plant is unavailable. [source]

Genome scan of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera for genetic variation associated with crop rotation tolerance

N. J. Miller
Abstract:, Crop rotation has been a valuable technique for control of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera for almost a century. However, during the last two decades, crop rotation has ceased to be effective in an expanding area of the US corn belt. This failure appears to be due to a change in the insect's oviposition behaviour, which, in all probability, has an underlying genetic basis. A preliminary genome scan using 253 amplified fragment-length polymorphism (AFLP) markers sought to identify genetic variation associated with the circumvention of crop rotation. Samples of D. v. virgifera from east-central Illinois, where crop rotation is ineffective, were compared with samples from Iowa at locations that the behavioural variant has yet to reach. A single AFLP marker showed signs of having been influenced by selection for the circumvention of crop rotation. However, this marker was not diagnostic. The lack of markers strongly associated with the trait may be due to an insufficient density of marker coverage throughout the genome. A weak but significant general heterogeneity was observed between the Illinois and Iowa samples at microsatellite loci and AFLP markers. This has not been detected in previous population genetic studies of D. v. virgifera and may indicate a reduction in gene flow between variant and wild-type beetles. [source]

Manipulation of oviposition choice of the parasitoid wasp, Encarsia pergandiella, by the endosymbiotic bacterium Cardinium

Abstract Reproductive manipulations of hosts by maternally inherited bacterial endosymbionts often result in an increase in the proportion of infected female hosts in the population. When this involves the conversion of incipient males to genetic or functional females, it presents unique difficulties for symbionts invading hosts with sex-specific reproductive behaviours, such as the autoparasitic Encarsia pergandiella. In sexual forms of this species, female eggs are laid in whitefly nymphs and male eggs are laid in conspecific or heterospecific parasitoids developing within the whitefly cuticle. Further, eggs laid in the ,wrong' host do not ordinarily complete development. This study explored the role of a bacterial symbiont, Cardinium, in manipulating oviposition behaviour in a thelytokous population of E. pergandiella. Oviposition choice was measured by the number and location of eggs deposited by both infected and uninfected adult waSPS in arenas containing equal numbers of hosts suitable for the development of male and female waSPS. Uninfected waSPS included antibiotic-treated female waSPS and (untreated) daughters of antibiotic-treated female waSPS. The choices of waSPS in the thelytokous population treatments were compared with those of a conspecific sexual population. We found that offspring of antibiotic-cured thelytokous waSPS reverted to the behaviour of unmated sexual waSPS, laying their few eggs almost exclusively in hosts appropriate for male eggs. Infected thelytokous waSPS distributed their eggs approximately evenly between host types, much like mated sexual female waSPS. The antibiotic-treated female waSPS exhibited choices intermediate to waSPS in the other two treatments. The change in the observed behaviour appears sufficient to allow invasion and persistence of Cardinium in sexual populations. Lastly, our results suggest a reduction in host discrimination as a possible mechanism by which Cardinium influences this change. [source]

Genetic architecture of population differences in oviposition behaviour of the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus

C. W. Fox
Abstract Few studies have examined the genetic architecture of population differences in behaviour and its implications for population differentiation and adaptation. Even fewer have examined whether differences in genetic architecture depend on the environment in which organisms are reared or tested. We examined the genetic basis of differences in oviposition preference and egg dispersion between Asian (SI) and African (BF) populations of the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus. We reared and tested females on each of two host legumes (cowpea and mung bean). The two populations differed in mean oviposition preference (BF females preferred cowpea seeds more strongly than did SI females) and egg dispersion (SI females distributed eggs more uniformly among seeds than did BF females). Observations of hybrid and backcross individuals indicated that only the population difference in oviposition preference could be explained by complete additivity, whereas substantial dominance and epistasis contributed to the differences in egg dispersion. Both rearing host and test host affected the relative magnitude of population differences in egg dispersion and the composite genetic effects. Our results thus demonstrate that the relative influence of epistasis and dominance on the behaviour of hybrids depends on the behaviour measured and that different aspects of insect oviposition are under different genetic control. In addition, the observed effect of rearing host and oviposition host on the relative importance of dominance and epistasis indicates that the genetic basis of population differences depends on the environment in which genes are expressed. [source]

Evaluating the enemies hypothesis in a clover-cabbage intercrop: effects of generalist and specialist natural enemies on the turnip root fly (Delia floralis)

Maria Björkman
1The relative importance of the resource concentration hypothesis and the enemies hypothesis was investigated for the turnip root fly Delia floralis in a cabbage,red clover intercropping system compared with a cabbage monoculture. 2Delia floralis egg densities were measured as well as the activity-densities of generalist predators in a field experiment during two growing seasons. In the second year, a study of egg predation with artificially placed eggs was conducted, in addition to a predator exclusion experiment, to estimate total predation during the season. Parasitization rates were estimated from samples of pupae. 3Delia floralis oviposition was greater in the monoculture during both years. The predator activity-densities differed between treatments and study years. The known natural enemies of Delia spp., Bembidion spp. and Aleochara bipustulata showed a strong response to a cultivation system with higher activity-densities in the monoculture. The response, however, appeared to be caused primarily by habitat preferences and not by D. floralis egg densities. 4The reduction in the number of D. floralis pupae in the intercropping may be explained by a disruption in oviposition behaviour caused by the presence of clover because neither predation, nor parasitization rates differed between cultivation systems. [source]

Temptations of weevil: feeding and ovipositional behaviour of Hylobius warreni Wood on host and nonhost bark in laboratory bioassays

Gareth R. Hopkins
Abstract 1Warren root collar weevil Hylobius warreni Wood (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is a long-lived, flightless insect native to coniferous forests across northern North America. Girdling by larval feeding causes significant mortality on young trees. The insect poses considerable challenges to reforestation. 2Adult weevils feed on all life stages of a variety of coniferous hosts prior to oviposition. Their relative feeding preferences, however, have not been quantified. Moreover, it is not known whether host bark influences oviposition behaviour. 3Feeding preferences of adult weevils were tested in both choice and no-choice laboratory bioassays using small branches from three conifers (lodgepole pine Pinus contorta var. latifolia, interior hybrid spruce Picea glauca×engelmannii, and Douglas-fir Pseudotsuga menziesii) and one deciduous tree (trembling aspen Populus tremuloides). Measurements included the surface area of bark consumed, rate of consumption, the number of days of feeding, and, in the no-choice assay, the number of eggs oviposited. 4Bark consumption was greatest on pine and Douglas-fir, followed by spruce. Little to no feeding occurred on aspen. Consumption did not vary between male versus female insects for any of the feeding metrics quantified. 5The presence of aspen branches did not inhibit feeding on any of the other species in the choice bioassays. 6The number of eggs laid by female insects did not differ significantly among tree species in the no-choice assay. Eggs were laid indiscriminately in the presence of all four host types. 7Results and opportunities for future research are discussed in the context of formulating new integrated pest management strategies for this insect, which is increasingly important in the period of reforestation subsequent to the mountain pine beetle epidemic in western Canada. [source]

Role of bacteria in the oviposition behaviour and larval development of stable flies

A. Romero
Abstract., Stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.), are the most important pests of cattle in the United States. However, adequate management strategies for stable flies, especially for pastured cattle, are lacking. Microbial/symbiont-based approaches offer novel venues for management of insect pests and/or vector-borne human and animal pathogens. Unfortunately, the fundamental knowledge of stable fly,microbial associations and their effect on stable fly biology is lacking. In this study, stable flies laid greater numbers of eggs on a substrate with an active microbial community (> 95% of total eggs oviposited) than on a sterilized substrate. In addition, stable fly larvae could not develop in a sterilized natural or artificial substrate/medium. Bacteria were isolated and identified from a natural stable fly oviposition/developmental habitat and their individual effect on stable fly oviposition response and larval development was evaluated in laboratory bioassays. Of nine bacterial strains evaluated in the oviposition bioassays, Citrobacter freundii stimulated oviposition to the greatest extent. C. freundii also sustained stable fly development, but to a lesser degree than Serratia fanticola. Serratia marcescens and Aeromonas spp. neither stimulated oviposition nor supported stable fly development. These results demonstrate a stable fly bacterial symbiosis; stable fly larval development depends on a live microbial community in the natural habitat, and stable fly females are capable of selecting an oviposition site based on the microbially derived stimuli that indicate the suitability of the substrate for larval development. This study shows a promising starting point for exploiting stable fly,bacterial associations for development of novel approaches for stable fly management. [source]

Horizontal transfer of the insect growth regulator pyriproxyfen to larval microcosms by gravid Aedes albopictus and Ochlerotatus triseriatus mosquitoes in the laboratory

B. Dell Chism
Abstract., The insect growth regulator (IGR) pyriproxyfen is highly active against mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). Through continuous emersion of large larvae (instars 3,4) the concentration causing 50% inhibition of adult emergence (EI50) was determined as 0.200 p.p.b. for Aedes albopictus (Skuse) and 3.5 to 7 times less for Ochlerotatus triseriatus (Say): IE50 0.0288 p.p.b. As a possible method of application to larval microscosms of these species that oviposit in water containers and phytotelmata, the horizontal transfer of pyriproxyfen to larval microcosms by adult mosquitoes was evaluated under laboratory conditions. Gravid females were forced to walk on surfaces treated with pyriproxyfen (tarsal contact exposure) and then allowed to oviposit in larval microcosms. Using replicate bioassay cages, each with an oviposition container, and a factorial experimental design, we assessed Ae. albopictus for the effects of (i) pyriproxyfen concentration (0.2, 0.3 and 0.4 mg/cm2) contacted by gravid females, and (ii) the number of treated gravid females added to bioassay cages (one, three or five females/cage), on the mortality of larvae in oviposition containers. Only 0.2 mg/cm2 treatment rate was tested on Oc. triseriatus. A significant (P < 0.05) curvilinear response in inhibition of emergence (IE) was achieved on both species. Densities of one or three treated Oc. triseriatus females/cage yielded IE rates of only 21,27%, whereas five treated females/cage resulted in 70% inhibition. With Ae. albopictus, densities of three or five treated females/cage yielded 48,67% and 59,73% IE, respectively, whereas one treated female/cage gave only 4,30% inhibition. Use of IGR-treated oviposition containers to achieve horizontal transfer of pyriproxyfen to mosquito oviposition sites could be a field management technique based on mosquito biology and behaviour. In binary choice tests with Ae. albopictus, horizontal transfer of pyriproxyfen from a container with a treated ovistrip (0.3 or 0.4 mg/cm2) to an untreated microcosm resulted in 14,38% inhibition. In larval bioassays, pyriproxyfen activity declined markedly within 10 days. Forcibly exposing gravid female mosquitoes to pyriproxyfen-treated paper surface did not affect their fecundity. However, from the 1st to 2nd gonotrophic cycles the egg hatch rate declined by 30% (P < 0.05). Some variation of results could be due to interactions between females at the oviposition site, possibly causing disproportionate transfer of pyriproxyfen to larval microcosms. Comparative studies of the oviposition behaviour of each mosquito are warranted and would potentially provide information needed to improve the technique. [source]

Functional bases of host-acceptance behaviour in the aphid parasitoid Aphidius ervi

Abstract The host acceptance behaviour in Aphidius ervi is investigated, assessing the role of both external and internal host-associated cues, offered to the experimental parasitoids with parafilm-made aphid dummies. The reaction to internal cues present in the host haemolymph is clearly evident, and its intensity is enhanced by external cues. Parasitoid females lay few eggs in aphid dummies filled with host haemolymph. A significant increase in the number of both oviposition reactions (host stinging) and egg laying is observed only when these dummies are coated with cornicle secretion. However, this enhancement is not observed when the aphid dummies contain distilled water. Thus, the host acceptance behaviour of A. ervi females appears to be controlled by the integration of both external and internal chemical cues. The physiological basis of this behavioural response is investigated with a detailed study on the anatomy and ultrastructure of A. ervi ovipositor. The detection of chemical cues present in the host haemolymph that act as kairomones is made possible by the presence of gustatory sensilla on the tip of the ovipositor. These sensilla consist of porous areas, reached by unbranched dendrites running inside both the lower valves (i.e. first valvulae) and the unpaired upper valve (i.e. second valvulae). The mechanosensory function during oviposition appears to be provided mostly by the basiconic sensilla found on the tip of external valves (i.e. third valvulae). A tentative functional model accounting for the observed oviposition behaviour of A. ervi is proposed. [source]

Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner): can wheat stubble protect cotton plants against attack?

Amanda J Cleary
Abstract, When investigating strategies for Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) control, it is important to understand oviposition behaviour. Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) was sown into standing wheat (Triticum astivum L.) stubble in a closed arena to investigate the effect of stubble on H. armigera moth behaviour and oviposition. Infrared cameras were used to track moths and determine whether stubble acted as a physical barrier or provided camouflage to cotton plants, thereby reducing oviposition. Searching activity was observed to peak shortly before dawn (03:00 and 04:00 h) and remained high until just after dawn (4 h window). Moths spent more time resting on cotton plants than spiralling above them, and the least time flying across the arena. While female moths spent more time searching for cotton plants growing in wheat stubble, the difference in oviposition was not significant. As similar numbers of eggs were laid on cotton plants with stubble (3.5/plant SE ±0.87) and without stubble (2.5/plant SE ±0.91), wheat stubble does not appear to provide camouflage to cotton plants. There was no significant difference in the location of eggs deposited on cotton plants with and without stubble, although more eggs were laid on the tops of cotton leaves in wheat stubble. As the spatial and temporal distribution of eggs laid on the cotton plant is a crucial component of population stability, eggs laid on the upper side of leaves on cotton plants may be more prone to fatalities caused by environmental factors such as wind and rain. Therefore, although stubble did not influence the number of eggs laid, it did affect their distribution on the plant, which may result in increased mortality of eggs on cotton plants sown into standing wheat stubble. [source]

Nesting in a thermally challenging environment: nest-site selection in a rock-dwelling gecko, Oedura lesueurii (Reptilia: Gekkonidae)

In egg-laying species, maternal oviposition choice can influence egg survival and offspring phenotypes. According to the maternal-preference offspring-performance hypothesis, females should choose oviposition sites that are optimal for offspring fitness. However, in thermally challenging environments, maternal oviposition behaviour may be constrained by the limited availability of suitable oviposition sites. We investigated nest-site selection in a nocturnal lizard [velvet gecko Oedura lesueurii (Duméril and Bibron)] that inhabits a thermally challenging environment in south-eastern Australia. The viability of these gecko populations is critical for the persistence of an endangered snake species (Hoplocephalus bungaroides Wagler) that feeds heavily on velvet geckos. Female geckos chose nest sites nonrandomly, with 87% of nests (N = 30) being laid in deep crevices. By contrast, only 13% of clutches were laid under rocks, which were the most readily available potential nest sites. Nest success in crevices was high (100%), but no eggs hatched from nests under rocks. Temperatures in nest crevices remained relatively low and constant throughout the incubation period (mean = 22.7 °C, range 21.0,24.5 °C), whereas thermal regimes under rocks showed large diurnal fluctuations. Geckos selected crevices that were deeper, had less canopy cover, and were warmer than most available crevices; in 85% of cases, such crevices were used simultaneously by more than one female. The thermally distinctive attributes of nest sites, and their frequent communal use, suggest that nest sites are a scarce resource for female velvet geckos, and that the shading of rock outcrops through vegetation encroachment may influence nest success in this species. © 2010 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2010, 99, 250,259. [source]

Oviposition strategies employed by the western spruce budworm: tests of predictions from the phylogenetic constraints hypothesis

Kathryn J. Leyva
Abstract 1,Predictions from the Phylogenetic Constraints Hypothesis were tested for the first time in an eruptive forest Lepidopteran species, the western spruce budworm. 2,In previous work, we established that western spruce budworm females exhibit oviposition preferences with regard to tree age, tree vigour and host species. However, there was no evidence to support a link between oviposition preference and larval performance, which supports the Phylogenetic Constraints Hypothesis. 3,Our preference data led us to test whether female budworms use oviposition strategies to select the sites where they lay their egg masses. Our experiments were designed to make direct comparisons between latent and eruptive insect herbivores with respect to two oviposition behaviours: egg retention and avoidance of conspecifics. This type of research has not previously been conducted on any eruptive forest Lepidopteran. 4,Female budworms retained eggs instead of laying them on less preferred hosts in two of three experiments, but the percentage of eggs they retained was significantly less compared to latent insect herbivores. 5,In addition, female budworms actively avoided oviposition in areas with the highest density of conspecific egg masses, but they laid egg masses in all the other locations provided. This contrasts with the pattern seen in latent insect herbivores, which consistently avoid laying their eggs near any sites already used by conspecifics. 6,Our research indicates that there are extreme differences between latent and eruptive insect herbivores with respect to egg retention and avoidance of conspecifics, thus supporting the Phylogenetic Constraints Hypothesis. [source]