The effect of ant predation on survival and mating frequency of the golden egg bug in field experiments (Hymenoptera: Formicidae; Heteroptera: Coreidae)

M. Miettinen, A. Kaitala, X. Espadaler, M. Tannerfeldt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Golden egg bug Phyllomorpha laciniata (Heteroptera, Coreidae) females use both male and female conspecifics as oviposition sites. Carrying unrelated eggs is unexpected because studies indicate that the carrier, by carrying heavy egg loads, bears a cost in survival. In the field, we examined how the presence of two commonly found, omnivorous ant species (Aphaenogaster senilis and Pheidole pallidula) affected the survival of the golden egg bugs and their eggs. A. senilis workers preyed efficiently upon the bugs and their eggs but large egg loads did not increase the risk of being preyed upon. Contrary to earlier studies, predation risk from P. pallidula was negligible. We also examined whether the highly polygamous bug's mating behavior was affected by the presence of the ants. The presence of A. senilis workers significantly depressed bug's mating frequency while the presence of P. pallidula did not influence bug's mating activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-668
JournalSociobiology
Volume44
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2004

Keywords

  • Ants
  • Egg carrying
  • Mating frequency
  • Phyllomorpha laciniata
  • Predation pressure

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