Clumped distributions of herbivorous insect eggs often result from independent assessments of individual plants by different ovipositing females. Here we ask whether, in addition, plants might be rendered more or less attractive to ovipositing Melitaea cinxia butterflies by presence of conspecific eggs and/or by prior larval attack. Both eggs and larval damage rendered Veronica spicata plants significantly more acceptable; the effect of eggs was particularly strong. Larval damage caused a marginally significant increase in acceptability of Plantago lanceolata, but there was no trend for an effect of eggs on this host. Variable oviposition preferences of Melitaeine butterflies are known to drive their metapopulation dynamics by affecting rates of emigration and patch colonization. Therefore variable host acceptability, as documented here, should do likewise, reducing emigration rates at high population densities where V. spicata is present in the landscape and complementing Allee effects that are already known in this system.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 54 • No. 1–4