Arthropod-Plant Interactions (2012) 6, 159-169

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Livy Williams III, Yu Cheng Zhu, Gordon L. Snodgrass and Verónica Manrique (2012)
Plant-mediated decisions by an herbivore affect oviposition pattern and subsequent egg parasitism
Arthropod-Plant Interactions 6 (2), 159-169
Abstract: Natural enemies are important mortality factors for herbivores and thus may influence herbivore population dynamics. In response to natural enemy pressure, herbivores can alter life history decisions, such as oviposition behavior, so that offspring are protected from natural enemies. One such strategy is to deposit eggs into structures where vulnerability to natural enemies is reduced or eliminated, i.e., use enemy-free space. The plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois), is native to North America and has a broad host range (>350 plant species), including crops. This bug's eggs are attacked by a native parasitoid, Anaphes iole Girault, and parasitism levels vary greatly among host plant species. Weed hosts are critical to contemporary L. lineolaris life history because they serve as an ecological bridge from one crop growing season to the next. We investigated the egg distribution pattern of L. lineolaris on 11 host plant species (nine weeds and two crops), and parasitism by A. iole, to determine whether oviposition choices by L. lineolaris females protect their eggs from parasitism and to demonstrate the mechanism of this protection. Our results indicate that the reproductive structures of Erigeron annuus, as well as those of several other host plant species, provide a refuge from parasitism for most L. lineolaris eggs. This refuge is due to the deposition of host eggs deeper in plant tissue than the length of the ovipositor of A. iole. Also, overall parasitism levels were greater on non-Asteraceae host plant species compared with host plant species belonging to Asteraceae. Oviposition site choice by female bugs appears to be a selective strategy to take advantage of enemy-free space.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website


Database assignments for author(s): Livy Williams

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
environment - cropping system/rotation
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
resistance/tolerance/defence of host


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Lygus lineolaris
Anaphes iole (parasitoid) Lygus lineolaris