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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2004

Host plant affects pollen beetle (Meligethes aeneus) egg size

Ekbom B, Popov SYA


In some herbivorous insect species, egg size is larger on low-quality hosts than on high-quality hosts and may be related to the prospect that larger offspring are more likely to survive on a poor host. Sizes of eggs laid by pollen beetles [Meligethes aeneus Fab. (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)] were examined with insects confined on one of two different host plants that had previously shown differences in adult preference and larval performance. Individual females were also exposed sequentially to both the low-quality host (Sinapis alba L.) and the high-quality host (Brassica napus L.) and the size of their eggs was determined. Pollen beetles laid shorter eggs on low-quality hosts both for different females on different host plants and for the same individuals on different host plants, in contrast to the prediction that low-quality hosts would receive larger eggs than high-quality hosts. Previously, egg production rate was shown to be reduced when pollen beetles are exposed to low-quality hosts and it is suggested that oogenesis is incomplete, resulting in shorter eggs. The possibility that this is related to antibiosis on S. alba is discussed

Published in

Physiological Entomology
2004, volume: 29, number: 2, pages: 118-122

Authors' information

Ekbom, Barbara
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Entomology
Popov, S Y A

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Agricultural Science

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