Female Oviposition Decisions and Their Impact on Progeny Life-History Traits
Paukku, S., & Kotiaho, J. S. (2008). Female Oviposition Decisions and Their Impact on Progeny Life-History Traits. Journal of Insect Behavior, 21 (6), 505-520.
Published inJournal of Insect Behavior
DisciplineEkologia ja evoluutiobiologia
© The Author(s) 2008
An important factor affecting the life-history of an organism is parental investment in reproduction: reproductive decisions are almost invariably costly. Therefore, reproductive decisions should be beneficial in terms of increased offspring number or fitness. For example, egg laying decisions in many insects can influence resource availability of the offspring through changes in the larval density, and resource availability will have effects on many life-history traits. Here we studied whether female reproductive decisions affect offspring fitness in Callosobruchus maculatus seed beetles. Females laid more eggs on black-eye beans than on mung beans. However, when the difference in the surface area of the beans was accounted for, the number of eggs was not higher in black-eye beans. This together with the poisson distribution of eggs on each of the bean types suggests that females tend to lay their eggs randomly. We found that development time was longer, larval mortality lower and adult survival higher in black-eye beans. We also found interactions between bean type and larval density on size of the offspring such that in mung beans the emergence mass and pronotum width decreased with increasing larval density, but in black-eye beans larval density did not affect the size measures. We conclude that when there is a risk that larval denisty will become high within a bean and there is variable resources available, there exist clear benefits that females might obtain by choosing black-eye beans as a resource for their offspring. However, in contrast to many earlier studies, our results suggest that females may not be making any active oviposition decisions. Therefore, to unequivocally determine whether females do capitalise the potential benefits by active decision making, some further experimentation is required. ...
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