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Avoidance of Scramble Competition Between Larvae of the Spotted Asparagus Beetle, Crioceris Duodecimpunctata L. (Chrysomelidae) By Discrimination Between Unoccupied and Occupied Asparagus Berries

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Regular distributions of insect larvae over their food are often found, and are caused in most cases by a regular distribution of eggs by the parent insect, which avoids to lay eggs where conspecifics have already laid theirs. Epideictic pheromones deter the insects to lay on places where eggs are already present. Twelve-spotted asparagus beetles do not lay their eggs on or in the berries from which the larvae feed. Yet the larvae are regularly distributed over the berries. Larvae of the spotted asparagus beetle are able to discriminate between unoccupied berries and occupied berries. The mechanism of this ability and the value of this habit are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Zoological Laboratory, Department of Ecology, Universitv of Leiden, The Netherlands


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