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Spider mite web mediates anti-predator behaviour.

Lemos F, Sarmento RA, Pallini A, Dias CR, Sabelis MW, Janssen A - Exp. Appl. Acarol. (2010)

Bottom Line: They can employ an array of strategies to reduce predation, for example through changes in behaviour, morphology and life history.Here, we investigate the effects of the web produced by the red spider mite, Tetranychus evansi Baker & Pritchard, on its interactions with the predatory mite, Phytoseiulus longipes Evans.We found that the prey did not produce denser web in response to such cues, but laid more eggs suspended in the web, away from the leaf surface.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Animal Biology, Section Entomology, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brazil.

ABSTRACT
Herbivores suffer significant mortality from predation and are therefore subject to natural selection on traits promoting predator avoidance and resistance. They can employ an array of strategies to reduce predation, for example through changes in behaviour, morphology and life history. So far, the anti-predator response studied most intensively in spider mites has been the avoidance of patches with high predation risk. Less attention has been given to the dense web produced by spider mites, which is a complex structure of silken threads that is thought to hinder predators. Here, we investigate the effects of the web produced by the red spider mite, Tetranychus evansi Baker & Pritchard, on its interactions with the predatory mite, Phytoseiulus longipes Evans. We tested whether female spider mites recognize predator cues and whether these can induce the spider mites to produce denser web. We found that the prey did not produce denser web in response to such cues, but laid more eggs suspended in the web, away from the leaf surface. These suspended eggs suffered less from predation by P. longipes than eggs that were laid on the leaf surface under the web. Thus, by altering their oviposition behaviour in response to predator cues, females of T. evansi protect their offspring.

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Mean oviposition rates of single Tetranychus evansi females during 2 days on leaf discs that were either clean or contained cues of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus longipes. White parts of the bars show the number of eggs on the leaf surface, grey parts show the eggs that were suspended in the web. Error bars show the SEM of the mean total number of eggs (on the leaf surface plus in the web)
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Fig1: Mean oviposition rates of single Tetranychus evansi females during 2 days on leaf discs that were either clean or contained cues of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus longipes. White parts of the bars show the number of eggs on the leaf surface, grey parts show the eggs that were suspended in the web. Error bars show the SEM of the mean total number of eggs (on the leaf surface plus in the web)

Mentions: The oviposition of red spider mite females was not significantly affected by the presence of predator cues (Fig. 1, LMER: Chi2 = 2.66, df = 1, P = 0.10). However, the spider mites did lay more eggs suspended in the web on discs with predator cues (Fig. 1, Wilcoxon rank-sum test: W = 214.5, P < 0.0001). In the absence of predator cues, all eggs were laid on the leaf disc surface, whereas 29.2 ± 5.50% of the eggs were found suspended in the web in the presence of predator cues. Because there were no predators but only predator cues present when the spider mites were allowed to oviposit and construct web, we conclude that predator cues changed the oviposition behaviour of T. evansi.Fig. 1


Spider mite web mediates anti-predator behaviour.

Lemos F, Sarmento RA, Pallini A, Dias CR, Sabelis MW, Janssen A - Exp. Appl. Acarol. (2010)

Mean oviposition rates of single Tetranychus evansi females during 2 days on leaf discs that were either clean or contained cues of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus longipes. White parts of the bars show the number of eggs on the leaf surface, grey parts show the eggs that were suspended in the web. Error bars show the SEM of the mean total number of eggs (on the leaf surface plus in the web)
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2914296&req=5

Fig1: Mean oviposition rates of single Tetranychus evansi females during 2 days on leaf discs that were either clean or contained cues of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus longipes. White parts of the bars show the number of eggs on the leaf surface, grey parts show the eggs that were suspended in the web. Error bars show the SEM of the mean total number of eggs (on the leaf surface plus in the web)
Mentions: The oviposition of red spider mite females was not significantly affected by the presence of predator cues (Fig. 1, LMER: Chi2 = 2.66, df = 1, P = 0.10). However, the spider mites did lay more eggs suspended in the web on discs with predator cues (Fig. 1, Wilcoxon rank-sum test: W = 214.5, P < 0.0001). In the absence of predator cues, all eggs were laid on the leaf disc surface, whereas 29.2 ± 5.50% of the eggs were found suspended in the web in the presence of predator cues. Because there were no predators but only predator cues present when the spider mites were allowed to oviposit and construct web, we conclude that predator cues changed the oviposition behaviour of T. evansi.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: They can employ an array of strategies to reduce predation, for example through changes in behaviour, morphology and life history.Here, we investigate the effects of the web produced by the red spider mite, Tetranychus evansi Baker & Pritchard, on its interactions with the predatory mite, Phytoseiulus longipes Evans.We found that the prey did not produce denser web in response to such cues, but laid more eggs suspended in the web, away from the leaf surface.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Animal Biology, Section Entomology, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brazil.

ABSTRACT
Herbivores suffer significant mortality from predation and are therefore subject to natural selection on traits promoting predator avoidance and resistance. They can employ an array of strategies to reduce predation, for example through changes in behaviour, morphology and life history. So far, the anti-predator response studied most intensively in spider mites has been the avoidance of patches with high predation risk. Less attention has been given to the dense web produced by spider mites, which is a complex structure of silken threads that is thought to hinder predators. Here, we investigate the effects of the web produced by the red spider mite, Tetranychus evansi Baker & Pritchard, on its interactions with the predatory mite, Phytoseiulus longipes Evans. We tested whether female spider mites recognize predator cues and whether these can induce the spider mites to produce denser web. We found that the prey did not produce denser web in response to such cues, but laid more eggs suspended in the web, away from the leaf surface. These suspended eggs suffered less from predation by P. longipes than eggs that were laid on the leaf surface under the web. Thus, by altering their oviposition behaviour in response to predator cues, females of T. evansi protect their offspring.

Show MeSH