Spatial variation in the incidence of a sexually transmitted parasite of the ladybird beetle Adalia bipunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

K. Mary Webberley, Matthew C. Tinsley, John J. Sloggett, Michael E. N. Majerus, Gregory D. D. Hurst

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Abstract

Whilst sexually transmitted pathogens and parasites are common on insects and other animals, the factors affecting their incidence are currently uncertain. in order to understand the factors important in determining the presence of sexually transmitted parasites, it would be helpful to have information on intraspecific variation in incidence, as the causes of this variation are likely to reflect the likely causes of the presence/absence of sexually transmitted parasites across species. We therefore mapped the incidence of the parasite Coccipolipus hippodamiae within Europe on its primary host, the ladybird Adalia bipunclata. We observed that C. hippodamiae was present widely in Central, Southern and Eastern Europe, but was absent from northerly and north-western populations. The cause of this pattern of incidence variation is discussed, with particular reference to the voltinisin of the host. We also note that the distribution of C. hippodamiae on A. bipunctata is not congruent with that of another sexually transmitted parasite of this species, Hesperomyces virescens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-797
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Entomology
Volume103
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes

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