Oviposition site selection and oviposition stimulation by conspecifics in the golden egg bug (Phyllomorpha laciniata) : implications for female fitness

Paco Garcia, M. Gomendio

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Phyllomorpha laciniata Vill. (Heteroptera, Coreidae) females lay eggs on the host plant and on the backs of conspecifics. Since egg survival is greater when eggs develop on the backs of conspecifics than when laid on plants, we predict that females should prefer to lay eggs on conspecifics. In addition, because conspecifics are a high-quality site that represents a limiting resource, females should experience oviposition stimulation upon an encounter with a conspecific. Our results reveal that, when both the host plant and conspecifics are available simultaneously, females lay eggs preferentially on conspecifics. The results also support the second prediction, since females housed with conspecifics lay more than twice the number of eggs than isolated females. Isolated females do not seem to retain eggs, suggesting that oviposition stimulation is the result of an acceleration of egg-maturation rates. Other studies have found oviposition stimulation by mating and have suggested that it is the result of male strategies to increase short-term male reproductive success at some cost to females. The evolutionary scenario of our model organism seems to be quite different since females benefit greatly from increasing egg laying when there are conspecifics, because the advantages in terms of offspring survival are likely to translate into substantial increases in female reproductive success.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)385-392
    JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
    Volume53
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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