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Host plant exodus and larval wandering behaviour in a butterfly: diapause generation larvae wander for longer periods than do non-diapause generation larvae
Stockholm Univ, Dept Zool, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden..
Nat Hist Museum Granollers, Granollers, Spain.;CREAF, Cerdanyola Del Valles, Spain..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
2017 (English)In: Ecological Entomology, ISSN 0307-6946, E-ISSN 1365-2311, Vol. 42, no 4, 531-534 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

1. Prior to pupation, lepidopteran larvae enter a wandering phase lasting up to 30 h before choosing a pupation site. Because stillness is important for concealment, this behaviour calls for an adaptive explanation.

2. The explanation most likely relates to the need to find a suitable pupation substrate, especially in terms of shelter from predation, and given that many predators and parasitoids use host plants as prey-location cues, mortality probably decreases with distance from the host plant. Hence, remaining on the host includes a long-term risk, while moving away from the host introduces an increased risk during locomotion.

3. Bivoltine species that overwinter in the pupal stage produce two kinds of pupae; non-diapausing pupae from which adults emerge after 1-2 weeks, or diapausing pupae that overwinter with adults emerging after 8-10 months.

4. Given the hypothesis of distance-from-host-plant-related predation, this should select for phenotypic plasticity with larvae in the diapausing generation having a longer wandering phase than larvae under direct development, if there is a trade-off between mortality during the wandering phase and accumulated mortality during winter.

5. Here this prediction is tested by studying the duration of the wandering period in larvae of the partially bivoltine swallowtail butterfly, Papilio machaon, under both developmental pathways.

6. The results are in agreement with the predictions and show that the larval wandering phase is approximately twice as long under diapause development. The authors suggest that the longer duration of the wandering phase in the diapause generation is a general phenomenon in Lepidoptera.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 42, no 4, 531-534 p.
Keyword [en]
Phenotypic plasticity, predation, seasonal polyphenism
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-332920DOI: 10.1111/een.12409ISI: 000406345700019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-332920DiVA: diva2:1158175
Available from: 2017-11-17 Created: 2017-11-17 Last updated: 2017-11-17Bibliographically approved

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