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Creators/Authors contains: "Elsensohn, Johanna E."

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  1. Abstract

    The information that female insects perceive and use during oviposition site selection is complex and varies by species and ecological niche. Even in relatively unexploited niches, females interact directly and indirectly with conspecifics at oviposition sites. These interactions can take the form of host marking and re-assessment of prior oviposition sites during the decision-making process. Considerable research has focused on the niche breadth and host preference of the polyphagous invasive pestDrosophila suzukiiMatsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae), but little information exists on how conspecific signals modulate oviposition behavior. We investigated three layers of social information that femaleD. suzukiimay use in oviposition site selection—(1) pre-existing egg density, (2) pre-existing larval occupation, and (3) host marking by adults. We found that the presence of larvae and host marking, but not egg density, influenced oviposition behavior and that the two factors interacted over time. Adult marking appeared to deter oviposition only in the presence of an unmarked substrate. These results are the first behavioral evidence for a host marking pheromone in a species ofDrosophila. These findings may also help elucidateD. suzukiiinfestation and preference patterns within crop fields and natural areas.

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