Oviposition Decisions (oviposition + decision)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Diadegma mollipla parasitizing Plutella xylostella: host instar preference and suitability

Robert S. Nofemela
Abstract Oviposition decisions (i.e., host selection and sex allocation) of female parasitoids are expected to correspond with host quality, as their offspring fitness is dependent on the amount and quality of resources provided by a single host. The host size model assumes that host quality is a linear function of host size, with larger hosts believed to contain a greater quantity of resources, and thus be more profitable than smaller hosts. We tested this assertion in the laboratory on a solitary larval,pupal parasitoid Diadegma mollipla (Holmgren) (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) developing on three instars (second,fourth) of one of its hosts, the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae). In a no-choice test, parasitism levels and sex ratio (i.e., proportion of female progeny) were significantly high in hosts attacked in the second instar followed by third then fourth instars. However, the few parasitoids that completed a generation from the fourth instars did so significantly faster than conspecifics that started development in the other two instars. In direct observations, however, the parasitoids (i) randomly attacked the various host instars, (ii) spent a similar period examining the various host instars with their ovipositors, (iii) subdued all three host instars with about the same effort, and (iv) no statistical differences were observed in the attack rates on the three host instars. In a choice test, the females parasitized significantly more third instars followed by second then fourth instars. However, total parasitism in this experiment was 43% lower compared to parasitism of only second instars in the no-choice test. No significant differences were detected in progeny sex ratios. In both choice and no-choice tests, significantly more fourth instars died during the course of the experiments than second instars, while third instars were intermediate. The higher parasitism of third than second instars in the choice test indicates that the females perceived larger hosts as higher quality than smaller hosts, despite their lower suitability for larval development. [source]

Effects of search experience in a resource-heterogeneous environment on the oviposition decisions of the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus (F.)

Abstract 1.,This study investigates how female seed beetles, Callosobruchus maculatus, distribute their eggs on various-sized seeds when the size of seed was varied during the egg-laying period. 2.,Beetles were allowed to lay eggs on one of three arrays of 64 adzuki beans (Vigna angularis). Each array contained four size classes of seed, ranging from small (5.0,5.5 mm diameter) to large (6.5,7.0 mm), but differed in how they were distributed within the environment. In the most heterogeneous condition (the 64-patch design), the four sizes were interspersed, while in the least heterogeneous condition (the four-patch design) they were grouped into four separate blocks. Thus, a beetle exploring the 64-patch design would frequently encounter all four seed sizes, whereas a beetle exploring the four-patch design would only rarely encounter a change in bean size. 3.,Beetles experiencing greater seed size heterogeneity were more likely to lay eggs on larger seeds, whereas those in the blocked condition were more likely to oviposit on small seeds. Beetle responses to seed size heterogeneity suggest that the degree of preference for large seeds depends on a female's recent experience. 4.,Female beetles exhibited size discrimination throughout their egg-laying process; however, there was a trade-off between seed size and egg discrimination (i.e. avoiding those seeds already containing developing eggs) in response to the change in fitness gained from either laying on larger seeds or lower egg-load seeds during the egg-laying process. 5.,Our model provides the first evidence that evolving seed size discrimination ability is adaptive for the seed beetle with egg-discrimination ability. [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]

Oviposition habitat selection for a predator refuge and food source in a mosquito

J. Guillermo Bond
Abstract., 1.,The influence of filamentous algae on oviposition habitat selection by the mosquito Anopheles pseudopunctipennis and the consequences of oviposition decisions on the diet, development, body size, and survival of offspring were examined. 2.,A natural population of An. pseudopunctipennis in Chiapas, Mexico, oviposited almost exclusively in containers with filamentous algae. Algae represented 47% of the gut contents of mosquito larvae sampled from the natural population. Mosquito larvae fed on an exclusive diet of algae developed as quickly and achieved the same adult body size (wing length) as their conspecifics fed on a standard laboratory diet. 3.,Multiple regression of survival of mosquito larvae on percentage surface area cover of algae (0,99%) and the density of predatory fish (zero to four fish per container) was best described by a second-order polynomial model. Increasing fish densities resulted in a reduction in mosquito survival in all algal treatments. The highest incidence of survival was observed at intermediate (66%) algal cover in all treatments. 4.,The presence of fish significantly extended larval development times whereas algal cover had no significant effect. The presence of fish resulted in emergence of smaller adults due to reduced feeding opportunities and predator avoidance behaviour. Algal cover also affected mosquito wing length but differently at each fish density. 5.,Oviposition habitat selection improves survival in the presence of predators and feeding opportunities for An. pseudopunctipennis larvae. [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 22.5C in the aquatic thermal gradient (5,32.5C) with the unrestricted availability of oviposition vegetation. The removal of the vegetation from predominantly chosen oviposition temperatures (15,20C) 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]