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The role of nectar sources for oviposition decisions of the common blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6379-7905
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
2005 (English)In: Oikos, ISSN 0030-1299, E-ISSN 1600-0706, Vol. 109, 535-538 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Neural limitations on information processing have been shown to play an important role for host plant specialization in herbivorous insects. The necessity of fast and accurate decisions favors the adoption of a few high-contrast signals, which selects against the use of multiple resources. Many species face a similar problem when searching for adult food sources and the simultaneous need to fulfill both search tasks can lead to a potential conflict. Some insects use the same host plant species for both adult and larval nutrition, which makes it possible to decrease the number of search images and thus potentially increase efficiency of the choices. The aim of this study was to investigate if there is a connection between choice of nectar sources and choice of oviposition host plant. In a laboratory experiment, females of Polyommatus icarus preferred to oviposit on Lotus corniculatus plants with flowers over those without flowers. Observations of behavioral sequences also revealed that oviposition often followed immediately after nectaring. The results suggest that nectar availability could play an important role in oviposition decisions of P. icarus and can provide one explanation to why some phytophagous insects not always choose the host plant that gives the best offspring performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons , 2005. Vol. 109, 535-538 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23566DOI: 10.1111/j.0030-1299.2005.13817.xOAI: diva2:192858
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-354Available from: 2005-02-03 Created: 2005-02-03 Last updated: 2014-10-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Oviposition strategies in butterflies and consequences for conservation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Oviposition strategies in butterflies and consequences for conservation
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Oviposition strategies are an important component of life history evolution in insects. Oviposition is a complex behaviour, where females must locate suitable habitat patches, locate oviposition sites, evaluate the quality, and finally decide how many eggs to lay. In this thesis, I explore some factors that may influence oviposition strategies in female butterflies. It discusses oviposition strategies from large to fine scales and ends with a discussion on implications for conservation. In paper I we tested for local adaptations in oviposition preference and larval performance in Polyommatus icarus. The result suggests that this species is evolutionary conservative in its utilization of the tested host plants. In the second paper we investigated frequency-dependent host plant choice in Polygonia c-album and showed that females spent significantly more time, and laid more eggs, in patches with high frequency of the preferred host. The influence of nectar sources on host plant choice in P. icarus was tested in paper III, females preferred ovipositing on host plants with flowers and after feeding. In paper IV we investigated oviposition “mistakes” in P. c-album and found differences in discrimination of hosts and non-hosts. Further, we showed that P. c-album butterflies are capable of responding to host quality by increasing clutch sizes on a high ranked host (paper V). Finally, in paper VI I explored how female oviposition behaviour can influence habitat management for a threatened butterfly species, Parnassius mnemosyne, by doing an observational field study on oviposition site preferences. This thesis highlights oviposition as a stepwise process and show that female discrimination is important at a multitude of levels with implications for oviposition strategies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Zoologiska institutionen, 2005. 30 p.
National Category
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-354 (URN)91-7155-011-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-02-25, sal G, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Svante Arrhenius väg 14-18, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2005-02-03 Created: 2005-02-03Bibliographically approved

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Janz, Niklas
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