- Department of Plant Protection Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
- Assiut University
Khallaf, Mohammed A.; Sadek, Medhat M.; Anderson, Peter
Unlike mammals, most invertebrates provide no direct parental care for their progeny, which makes a well-selected oviposition site crucial. However, little is known about the female evaluation of opportunities and threats during host selection. Leveraging the wide range of host plants used by the polyphagous pest, Spodoptera littoralis, we investigate oviposition choice between two plants of different nutritional quality. Females prefer to lay their eggs on the host plant, which has inferior larval development and more natural enemies but provides lower predation rates. On the superior host plant, a major predator shows more successful search behavior and is more attracted to herbivore-induced volatiles. Our findings show that predator efficacy and odor-guided attraction, rather than predator abundance, determine enemy free space. We postulate that predators’ behaviors contribute to the weak correlation between preference and performance during host plant selection in S. littoralis and in polyphagous insects in general.
2023, Volume: 26, number: 2, article number: 106077
SLU Plant Protection Network
SDG15 Life on land
Behavioral Sciences Biology