Predator-induced spine length and exocuticle thickness in Leucorrhinia dubia (Insecta: Odonata): a simple physiological trade-off?
2009 (English)In: Ecological Entomology, ISSN 0307-6946, E-ISSN 1365-2311, Vol. 34, no 6, 735-740 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
1. Morphological defence structures evolve against predators but are costly to the individual, and are induced only when required. A well-studied example is the development of longer abdominal spines in dragonfly larvae in the presence of fish. Numerous attempts to discover trade-offs between spine size and behaviour, development time or body size have, however, produced little evidence. 2. We considered a physiological trade-off. Spines consist of cuticle and using material to build longer structures may result in less material remaining elsewhere. We therefore measured exocuticle thickness at nine locations on Leucorrhinia dubia larvae from habitats with and without fish. 3. Our results show a significant effect of the interaction between fish presence and spine length on head and fore leg exocuticle thickness. Relative thickness increased with relative length of lateral spine 9 in the absence of fish, whereas no such relationship existed with fish. Hence, synthesis and secretion of cuticle material occur as a trade-off when larvae react to fish presence. 4. We assume the mechanism to be a selective synthesis of material with different responses in different parts of the larval body. These findings offer a new angle to the fish/spine trade off debate.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 34, no 6, 735-740 p.
Adaptive phenotypic plasticity, cuticle formation, dragonfly, fish presence, induced defence, morphology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-127436DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2311.2009.01129.xISI: 000271495700009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-127436DiVA: diva2:330046