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    Pine weevils modulate defensive behaviour in response to parasites of differing virulence

    Ennis, Darragh E. and Dillon, Aoife B. and Griffin, Christine (2010) Pine weevils modulate defensive behaviour in response to parasites of differing virulence. Animal Behaviour, 80. pp. 283-288. ISSN 0003-3472

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    Grooming and avoidance of contaminated areas are among the behavioural defences employed by animals against parasites. Antiparasite defence behaviour is costly in terms of time, energy and/or food foregone and therefore animals are expected to modulate their defences depending on the risk of attack and/or the severity of the symptoms caused.We tested the hypothesis that an insect host invests more in defence against more virulent (more likely to cause death) than less virulent parasites. We tested avoidance and grooming of adult pine weevils, Hylobius abietis, in response to infective juveniles of two species of entomopathogenic nematodes, the more virulent Steinernema carpocapsae and less virulent Heterorhabditis downesi. Weevils avoided feeding on a substrate contaminated with S. carpocapsae but not H. downesi. Weevils also groomed more when their bodies were contaminated with S. carpocapsae than either H. downesi or water. We also made direct observations of nematodes on weevils. When equal numbers of nematodes were applied to weevils more S. carpocapsae than H. downesi moved actively on the weevil’s cuticle. Thus, the differential response of weevils to the two nematode species can be explained by the weevils detecting the more aggressive behaviour of S. carpocapsae than H. downesi, which corresponds to a higher probability of death.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: The definitive version of this article is available at doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.05.006
    Keywords: antiparasite defence; entomopathogenic nematode; grooming; Heterorhabditis downesi; Hylobius abietis; large pine weevil; parasite avoidance; parasite recognition; Steinernema carpocapsae;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Biology
    Item ID: 4222
    Depositing User: Dr. Christine Griffin
    Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2013 16:07
    Journal or Publication Title: Animal Behaviour
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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