DesplandSimpson2005a

Reference

Despland, E. and Simpson, S.J. (2005) Food choices of solitarious and gregarious locusts reflect cryptic and aposematic antipredator strategies. Animal Behaviour, 69(2):471-479.

Abstract

Desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria, switch between the cryptic solitarious phase and the swarming aposematic gregarious phase with increased population density. We tested whether solitarious- and gregarious-phase locusts respond differently to hyoscyamine, a plant alkaloid that protects against predators. Solitarious-phase locusts were deterred by the taste of this compound and discriminated against it in long-term choice tests. Gregarious-phase locusts readily accepted the alkaloid and fed equally from a choice of foods that did or did not contain hyoscyamine. Solitarious insects that had begun the transition to the gregarious phase (i.e. that had been crowded) accepted and even seemed to prefer food containing the alkaloid. We did not detect any physiological costs associated with consuming hyoscyamine. Solitarious-phase locusts avoid predator detection through crypsis and would not benefit greatly from consuming toxic plants. Gregarious-phase locusts follow a foraging strategy found in other aposematic grasshoppers: they switch frequently between food plants with little regard to allelochemical content, and could acquire antipredator defence by feeding on a variety of toxic plants. Solitarious locusts in transition to the gregarious phase might benefit more from chemical defence than isolated individuals because predator avoidance learning is enhanced when distasteful prey are aggregated. Phase differences in locust feeding behaviour form part of integrated cryptic and aposematic antipredator strategies that also include differences in coloration and aggregation. © 2004 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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@ARTICLE { DesplandSimpson2005a,
    AUTHOR = { Despland, E. and Simpson, S.J. },
    TITLE = { Food choices of solitarious and gregarious locusts reflect cryptic and aposematic antipredator strategies },
    JOURNAL = { Animal Behaviour },
    YEAR = { 2005 },
    VOLUME = { 69 },
    PAGES = { 471-479 },
    NUMBER = { 2 },
    NOTE = { 00033472 (ISSN) Cited By (since 1996): 5 Export Date: 27 April 2007 Source: Scopus CODEN: ANBEA doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2004.04.018 Language of Original Document: English Correspondence Address: Department of Zoology; University of Oxford; Oxford, U.K.email: despland@alcor.concordia.ca References: Bernays, E., The value of being a resource specialist: Behavioural support for a neural hypothesis (1998) American Naturalist, 151, pp. 451-464; Bernays, E.A., Bright, K.L., Mechanisms of dietary mixing in grasshoppers: A review (1993) Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology a, 104, pp. 125-131; Bernays, E.A., Bright, K.L., Food choice causes interrupted feeding in the generalist grasshopper Schistocerca americana: Further evidence for inefficient decision-making (2001) Journal of Insect Physiology, 47, pp. 63-71; Bernays, E.A., Chapman, R.F., (1994) Host-Plant Selection by Phytophagous Insects, , Chapman \& Hall New York; Bernays, E.A., Chapman, R.F., Plant secondary compounds and grasshoppers: Beyond plant defenses (2000) Journal of Chemical Ecology, 26, pp. 1773-1794; Bernays, E.A., Bright, K.L., Gonzales, N., Angel, J., Dietary mixing in a generalist herbivore: Tests of two hypotheses (1994) Ecology, 75, pp. 1997-2006; Bowers, M.D., The evolution of unpalatability and the cost of chemical defense in insects (1992) Insect Chemical Ecology, pp. 216-244. , B. 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    ABSTRACT = { Desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria, switch between the cryptic solitarious phase and the swarming aposematic gregarious phase with increased population density. We tested whether solitarious- and gregarious-phase locusts respond differently to hyoscyamine, a plant alkaloid that protects against predators. Solitarious-phase locusts were deterred by the taste of this compound and discriminated against it in long-term choice tests. Gregarious-phase locusts readily accepted the alkaloid and fed equally from a choice of foods that did or did not contain hyoscyamine. Solitarious insects that had begun the transition to the gregarious phase (i.e. that had been crowded) accepted and even seemed to prefer food containing the alkaloid. We did not detect any physiological costs associated with consuming hyoscyamine. Solitarious-phase locusts avoid predator detection through crypsis and would not benefit greatly from consuming toxic plants. Gregarious-phase locusts follow a foraging strategy found in other aposematic grasshoppers: they switch frequently between food plants with little regard to allelochemical content, and could acquire antipredator defence by feeding on a variety of toxic plants. Solitarious locusts in transition to the gregarious phase might benefit more from chemical defence than isolated individuals because predator avoidance learning is enhanced when distasteful prey are aggregated. Phase differences in locust feeding behaviour form part of integrated cryptic and aposematic antipredator strategies that also include differences in coloration and aggregation. © 2004 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. },
    KEYWORDS = { antipredator defense aposematism food selection foraging behavior population density Crypsis Hexapoda Insecta Orthoptera Schistocerca Schistocerca gregaria },
    OWNER = { racinep },
    TIMESTAMP = { 2007.09.07 },
}

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