Oviposition deterrence is likely an effect, not a mechanism, in the leaf-bettle Chrysophtharta Bimaculata (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

Howlett, Brad G. & Clarke, Anthony R. (2005) Oviposition deterrence is likely an effect, not a mechanism, in the leaf-bettle Chrysophtharta Bimaculata (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Journal of Insect Behavior, 18(5), pp. 609-618.

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Oviposition deterrence is common in many insects as an evolutionary mechanism to reduce subsequent larval competition. We investigated a suspected case of oviposition deterrence by the paropsine chrysomelid, Chrysophtharta bimaculata. In paired choice tests, gravid females were found to prefer ovipositing on host leaves without conspecific eggs, confirming the presence of an apparent oviposition deterrence mechanism. Washing egg batches in water, hexane or ethanol did not change this preference, suggesting that a soluble marking pheromone was not involved. Furthermore, it is unlikely that a plant derived oviposition deterring substance is produced as beetles showed no significant oviposition preference between leaves which had been oviposited upon, but then had the eggs removed, and those that had never been oviposited upon. In trials using artificial leaves and mimic egg batches, ‘leaves’ with ‘egg batches’ placed near the tip of the leaf (the preferred site of oviposition in this species) were significantly less likely to be laid upon than artificial leaves where mimic eggs were placed away from the tip. In combination, the results strongly infer that oviposition deterrence in C. bimaculata is due to the mechanical blocking of the oviposition site by the first laid egg-batch, rather than a specific oviposition deterring cue. The apparent oviposition deterrence in this insect may well be an outcome or evolutionary effect of oviposition-site selection, rather than a clear adaptive mechanism to decrease larval competition.

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ID Code: 3258
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: conspecific deterrence, oviposition preference, oviposition site selection, Eucalyptus regnans, marking pheromones, Paropsinae
DOI: 10.1007/s10905-005-7014-7
ISSN: 1572-8889
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Springer
Copyright Statement: The original publication is available at SpringerLink
Deposited On: 27 Jan 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:13

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