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Motion level in Graphosoma lineatum coincides with ontogenetic change in defensive coloration
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6319-009X
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3445-3759
(English)In: Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, ISSN 0013-8703, E-ISSN 1570-7458Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

Crypsis and aposematism are two different approaches to predation avoidance. Theoretically, the chosen strategy depends on the prevailing possibilities and constraints to the animal. Consequently, insects often change strategy between life stages, but a switch in strategy within a life stage is quite uncommon. In the Swedish shieldbug, Graphosoma lineatum L. (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), there is a colour change from the pre-hibernating to the post-hibernating adults that alters their protective strategy from effective crypsis to aposematism, although both stages are distasteful to predators. The change in colour occurs as there is a shift of seasons, which alters the environmental background. Here we investigate if there is a change in behaviour in G. lineatum connected to the change in coloration and protective strategy. We therefore measured the motion levels in the two different colour forms of G. lineatum, both in the field and in a more controlled laboratory set up. Our result clearly shows that there is a change in behaviour connected to the change in colour. Thus, we found that the cryptic pre-hibernation form has a significantly lower motion level than the aposematic post-hibernation form, which is in line with the expectation from the fact that motion disrupts crypsis, but not aposematism. 

Keyword [en]
shield bug, colour change, protective coloration, cryptic, aposematic, behavioural change, activity, Heteroptera, Pentatomidae, Apiaceae
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology
Research subject
Ethology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-62463OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-62463DiVA: diva2:442035
Projects
Seasonal change in defensive coloration in a shieldbug
Available from: 2011-09-20 Created: 2011-09-20 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Seasonal change in defensive coloration in a shieldbug
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Seasonal change in defensive coloration in a shieldbug
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Protective coloration such as aposematism and crypsis occurs in many insects but only a few species alter their defensive strategy during the same instar. We hypothesize the adult shield bug Graphosoma lineatum with an alternating black and non-melanised longitudinal striation exhibit such a change in defensive coloration. In Sweden, the non-melanised stripes of the pre-hibernation G. lineatum are pale brown and cryptic but they change during hibernation to red and aposematic. We have tested the adaptive functions of coloration of the two G. lineatum forms against bird predators. In Paper I we used great tits as predators and measured detection time of the two forms against a background of dry grass and plants, simulating late-summer conditions. We found that the birds took longer time to find the pale than the red form. Thus, the pale form of G. lineatum is more cryptic in a dry environment than the red form. In Paper II and III we used naïve predators and measured attack rate/latency on red and pale adults and fifth-instar larvae (black and brown) to investigate avoidance and generalisation between the stages. In Paper II domestic chicks initially found the red form most intimidating, but both adult forms are more intimidating than the larva. Moreover, there was a broad generalisation among forms. In Paper III naïve great tits did not find the red form significantly more aversive than the pale adult. Neither the chicks nor the tits showed any difference in the speed of avoidance learning between the two adult colour forms. In Paper IV the shieldbugs themselves were the main focus as we compared activity levels in the different colour forms and found that G. lineatum alters behaviour in accordance to their protective strategy. Thus they were significantly less active during the cryptic phase. Taken together, these experiments suggest that the pale brown adult invests in a cryptic strategy at the cost of reduced protection from aposematism, whereas the red adult benefits from aposematism at the cost of reduced camouflage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2011. 26 p.
Keyword
Shield bug, colour change, protective coloration, cryptic, aposematic, behavioural change
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology
Research subject
Ethology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-62466 (URN)978-91-7447-373-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-11-02, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Accepted. Available from: 2011-10-11 Created: 2011-09-20 Last updated: 2011-09-26Bibliographically approved

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