© Royal Entomological Society
Edited By: Jane K. Hill, Francis Gilbert and Rebeca B. Rosengaus
Impact Factor: 1.967
ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 12/90 (Entomology)
Online ISSN: 1365-2311
Associated Title(s): Agricultural and Forest Entomology, Insect Conservation and Diversity, Medical and Veterinary Entomology, Insect Conservation and Diversity, Physiological Entomology, Systematic Entomology
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Predators marked with chemical cues from one prey have increased attack success on another prey species
Roos Van Maanen, George Broufas, Paulien de Jong, Ernestina Aguilar-Fenollosa, Alexandra Revynthi, Maurice W. Sabelis, Arne Janssen
Predation can pose significant selection pressures. Hence, it is not surprising that animals evolved diverse anti-predator behavioural strategies (such as fleeing, hiding, aggregating or remaining motionless) once they have sensed the predator. Such detection likely involves visual and/or chemical cues emitted by the predator itself. The work by Van Maanen et al., (2015), however, demonstrates a more complex interaction. Surprisingly, prey do not base their anti-predatory behaviour on the visual or chemical cues of the predator itself but rather on the chemical cues of its last meal. When the generalist mite, Amblyseius swirskii, was “smeared” with the bodily fluids of thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis), the predator was significantly less successful in finding and killing conspecific thrips than if the predator had been labelled with the chemical cues of whiteflies (Trialeurodes vaporariorum). This study points to the intricacies in the predator/prey interactions and the incredible sensory abilities of this thrips species. It also helps explain why switching between prey species (rather than specializing on only one) may be a predator’s best strategy to avoid going to sleep on an empty stomach.
An adult female predatory mite (Amblyseius swirskii) attacking a thrip's larva (Frankliniella occidentalis). Photo: Jan van Arkel, IBED, University of Amsterdam.
Discover the extensive resource of backfiles from the Royal Entomological Society's illustrious history online, dating back to 1836, and including work by eminent scientists such as Wallace, Wigglesworth and Westwood.
The 2016 Wigglesworth Lecture and Award has been awarded to Professor John Hildebrand for his lecture entitled "How Insects Smell, and Why We Should Care". The Award is made in recognition of the great contribution of Sir Vincent Wigglesworth to Insect Biology and the example that he set in the performance of his work.
John’s research combines neurophysiological, behavioral, chemical-ecological, anatomical, molecular and developmental approaches in a multidisciplinary program addressing problems of the information-processing mechanisms, behavioral roles, functional organization, and postembryonic development of the olfactory system in insects. His program’s goal long has been to understand the olfactory bases of beneficial and harmful behaviors of insects that impact human health and welfare.
J O Westwood Award for Insect Taxonomy
Call for nominations
Nominations are now being accepted for the J. O. Westwood Medal and Award for Insect Taxonomy, which is awarded bienially in recognition of the highest standards of descriptive taxonomy. Click here for further information about the award.
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