Document Detail

Why Oviposit There? Fitness Consequences of a Gall Midge Choosing the Plant's Youngest Leaf.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23339793     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
For animals that lay eggs, a longstanding question is, why do females choose particular oviposition sites? For insects that lay eggs on plants there are three hypotheses: maximizing suitable habitat for juveniles, maximizing female lifespan, and maximizing egg survival. We investigated the function of the oviposition-site choice behavior of a gall midge, the Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor (Say). In spite of living less than a day and having hundreds of eggs, the ovipositing female is choosy about the placement of eggs. Choosiness makes sense. The tiny gall-making neonate larva has limited movement and strict requirements for colonization. We examined whether offspring benefit from the Hessian fly female's preference for the plant's youngest leaf. To do this we restricted the female's access to the first, second, or third leaf of a seedling (wheat Triticum aestivum L.) plant. Being placed on older leaves did not impact egg survival or larval survival during migration to attack sites at the base of the plant, but did have negative impacts on egg-to-adult survival (reduced by 48%) and reproductive potential (reduced by 30-45%). These negative impacts appear to come from larvae having to search harder to find the limited number of reactive plant cells that can be reprogrammed to form the gall nutritive tissue. We propose that the ability of larvae to find these reactive cells in spite of being placed on an older leaf is important because it creates leeway for female behavior to evolve in the face of other selection pressures, e.g., attack by egg parasitoids.
G A S M Ganehiarachchi; Kirk M Anderson; Jason Harmon; Marion O Harris
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental entomology     Volume:  42     ISSN:  1938-2936     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Entomol.     Publication Date:  2013 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-01-23     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7502320     Medline TA:  Environ Entomol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  123-30     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Zoology, University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya 11600, Sri Lanka.
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