Revue : Entomological Science

Initial preference for plant species and state during oviposition site selection by an odonate

Auteurs :

P. Lambret *, A. Besnard, N. Matushkina

Résumé :

Endophytic egg-laying odonates use an ovipositor to insert their eggs inside plant tissues. Before egg deposition, oviposition site selection consists of two crucial steps: (i) the initial choice, typically decided in species that oviposit in tandem within vertical substrates by the male when landing and then by the female by staying on the substrate or flying to another; and (ii) the insertion site choice, made by the female who uses her ovipositor to palpate the substrate. Some odonates prefer to deposit their eggs within specific plant species. Some are able to discriminate between living and dead substrates during the initial choice. However, the extent to which odonates discriminate among distinct plant species during the initial choice is unknown. We studied the initial site preference in Lestes macrostigma (Odonata: Lestidae) to determine whether the males and/or females show a distinct preference among five types of shoots when landing on or when palpating the substrate, respectively. Male L. macrostigma preferred to land on Bolboschoenus maritimus and dead Juncus spp. When focusing on J. maritimus, females preferentially palpated the substrate when the male landed on dead shoots. We suggest that the male preference for these substrates is consistent with that of the female during insertion site choice but also during egg deposition. Such behavior should reduce the duration of oviposition, with benefits of reducing the predation risk and increasing available time for foraging. The advantage in preferring these substrates should be linked to a selection pressure acting on egg development and/or survival.

* Auteur correspondant : Philippe Lambret

Référence bibliographique complète :

P. Lambret *, A. Besnard, N. Matushkina. Initial preference for plant species and state during oviposition site selection by an odonate. Entomological Science (2015). DOI : 10.1111/ens.12130