Oecologia

, Volume 106, Issue 3, pp 337–344

Oviposition specificity and behavior of the watermilfoil specialist Euhrychiopsis lecontei

Population Ecology
  • 78 Downloads

Abstract

Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.) is a nuisance aquatic weed, exotic to North America. The freshwater weevil Euhrychiopsis lecontei (Dietz) is a potential control agent of Eurasian watermilfoil and is a fully submersed aquatic specialist herbivore. Its presumed original host is the native northern watermilfoil (Myriophyllum sibiricum Komarov). We conducted a set of oviposition experiments to reveal first and second oviposition preference of Euhrychiopsis lecontei when presented with seven macrophytes. We tested differences between source (lake) populations of weevils, differences in behavior between weevils reared on the exotic Eurasian watermilfoil and the native northern watermilfoil and between weevils in the presence and absence of their preferred hostplant. Oviposition assays confirmed that E. lecontei is a watermilfoil specialist. Out of the 207 females that laid eggs, only three oviposited on a non-watermilfoil plant, Megalodonta beckii. The weevils' degree of specificity was influenced by the watermilfoil species on which they were reared. Weevils reared on Eurasian watermilfoil tended to oviposit on Eurasian watermilfoil, spent more time on Eurasian watermilfoil than on other plants, and spent more time off plants and took longer to oviposit when Eurasian watermilfoil was removed. Weevils reared on northern watermilfoil did not exhibit a preference for either watermilfoil species in oviposition or in time allocation, although they oviposited on and spent significantly more time on watermilfoils than on other species. Rearing of the two populations on their complementary watermilfoil hostplant resulted in responses typical of the rearing plant, not the original host. These results show that although both weevil populations are watermilfoil specialists, Eurasian-reared weevils prefer Eurasian watermilfoil in general host attraction and oviposition, whereas northern-reared weevils do not. The results support the contention that E. lecontei may be a good biocontrol agent for Eurasian watermilfoil because of its high specificity. The results also suggest that the current host range expansion of the weevil to Eurasian watermilfoil has the potential to become a host shift due to the increased specificity. Herbivory in freshwater systems is not well studied, and the E. lecontei-M. spicatum relationship is a rare example of submersed freshwater specialist herbivore-host-plant interactions.

Key words

Oviposition preference Host range Specialist herbivore Curculionidae Freshwater macrophyte 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aiken SG, Newroth PR, Wile I (1979) The biology of Canadian weeds. 34. Myriophyllum spicatum L. Can J Plant Sci 59: 201–215Google Scholar
  2. Bernays EA, Chapman RF (1994) Host-plant selection by phytophagous insects. Chapman and Hall, New York, pp 230–287Google Scholar
  3. Bernays EA, Cornelius M (1992) Relationship between deterrence and toxicity of plant secondary compounds for the alfalfa weevil Hypera brunneipennis. Entomol Exp Appl 64: 289–292Google Scholar
  4. Bowers MD, Stamp NE, Collinge SK (1992) Early stage of host range expansion by a specialist herbivore, Euphydryas phaeton (Nymphalidae). Ecology 73: 526–536Google Scholar
  5. Bush GL (1975) Sympatric speciation in phytophagous parasitic insects. In: Price PW (ed) Evolutionary strategies of parasitic insects and mites. Plenum, New York, pp 187–206Google Scholar
  6. Colonnelli E (1980) Notes on Phytobiini, with a key to the New World genera (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Ceutorhynchinae). Coleopts Bull 34: 281–284Google Scholar
  7. Corbet SA (1985) Insect chemosensory responses: a chemical legacy hypothesis. Ecol Entomol 10: 143–153Google Scholar
  8. Courtney SP, Kibota TT (1990) Mother doesn't know best: selection of hosts by ovipositing insects. In: Bernays EA (ed) Insect-plant interactions, vol. II CRC Press, Boston, Mass., pp 161–188Google Scholar
  9. Creed RP, Sheldon SP (1993) The effect of feeding by a North American weevil Euhrychiopsis lecontei on Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum). Aquat Bot 45: 245–256Google Scholar
  10. Creed RP, Sheldon SP (1994a) Potential for a native weevil to serve as a biological control agent for Eurasian watermilfoil. U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Aquatic Plant Control Research Program, Technical Report A-94-7, Vicksburg, MissGoogle Scholar
  11. Creed RP, Sheldon SP (1994b) Aquatic weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) associated with northern watermilfoil (Myriophyllum sibiricum) in Alberta, Canada. Entomol News 105: 98–102Google Scholar
  12. Creed RP, Sheldon SP (1995) Weevils and watermilfoil: did a North American herbivore cause the decline of an exotic plant. Ecol Appl 5: 1113–1121Google Scholar
  13. Devore J, Peck R (1993) Statistics: the exploration and analysis of data, 2nd edn. Wadsworth, Belmont, CalifGoogle Scholar
  14. Dieckmann L (1972) Beiträge zu Insektenfauna der DDR: Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Ceutorhynchinae. Beitr Entomol 22: 1–128Google Scholar
  15. Diehl SR, Bush GL (1984) An evolutionary and applied perspective of insect biotypes. Annu Rev Entomol 29: 471–504Google Scholar
  16. Feeny P (1976) Plant apparency and chemical defense. In: Wallace JW, Mansell RL (eds) Biochemical interaction between plants and insects. Recent Advances in Phytochemistry, vol. 10. Plenum Press, New York, pp 1–41Google Scholar
  17. Feeny P (1992) The evolution of chemical ecology: contributions from the study of herbivorous insects. In: Rosenthal GA, Berenbaum MR (eds) Herbivores: their intoractions with secondary plant metabolites, 2nd edn, vol 2. Academic Press, New York, pp 1–44Google Scholar
  18. Futuyma DJ (1983) Selective factors in the evolution of host choice by phytophagous insects. In: Ahmad S (ed) Herbivorous insects: host-seeking behavior and mechanisms. Academic Press, New York, pp 227–244Google Scholar
  19. Futuyma DJ, Moreno G (1988) The evolution of ecological specialization. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 19: 207–233Google Scholar
  20. Futuyma DJ, Herrmann C, Milstein S, Keese MC (1993a) Apparent transgenerational effects of host plant in the leaf beetle Ophraella notulata(Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Oecologia 96: 365–372Google Scholar
  21. Futuyma DJ, Keese MC, Scheffer SJ (1993b) Genetic constraints and the phylogeny of insect-plant associations: responses of Ophraella communa (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) to host plants of its congeners. Evolution 47: 888–905Google Scholar
  22. Grace JB, Wetzel RG (1978) Production biology of Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.): a review. J Aquat Plant Manage 16: 1–11Google Scholar
  23. Hanson FE (1983) The behavioral and neurophysiological basis of food plant selection by lepidopterous larvae. In: Ahmad S (ed) Herbivorous insects: host-seeking behavior and mechanisms. Academic Press, New York, pp 3–23Google Scholar
  24. Hare JD (1990) Ecology and management of the Colorado potato beetle. Annu Rev Entomol 35: 81–100Google Scholar
  25. Hay ME (1991) Marine terrestrial contrasts in the ecology of plant chemical defenses against herbivores. Trends Ecol Evol 6: 362–365Google Scholar
  26. Hay ME, Fenical W (1988) Marine plant-herbivore interactions: the ecology of chemical defense. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 19: 111–145Google Scholar
  27. Hay ME, Steinberg PD (1992) The chemical ecology of plant-herbivore interactions in marine versus terrestrial communities. In: Rosenthal GA, Berenbaum MR (ed) Herbivores, their interactions with secondary plant metabolites, 2nd ed. Vol. II. Evolutionary and ecological processes. Academic Press, San Diego, Calif, pp 371–413Google Scholar
  28. Jaenike J (1990) Host specialization in phytophagous insects. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 21: 243–273Google Scholar
  29. Jaenike J, Papaj DR (1992) Behavioral plasticity and patterns of host use by insects. In: Roitberg BD, Isman MB (eds) Insect chemical ecology: an evolutionary approach. Chapman and Hall, New York, pp 245–264Google Scholar
  30. Kibota TT, Courtney SP (1991) Jack of one trade, master of none: host choice by Drosophila magnaqinaria. Oecologia 86: 251–260Google Scholar
  31. Klingman DL, Coulson JR (1983) Guidelines for introducing foreign organisms into the United States for the biological control of weeds. Bull Entomol Soc Am 29: 55–61Google Scholar
  32. Leclaire M, Brandl R (1994) Phenotypic plasticity and nutrition in a phytophagous insect: consequences of colonizing a new host. Oecologia 100: 379–385Google Scholar
  33. Newman RM (1991) Herbivory and detritivory on freshwater macrophytes by invertebrates: a review. J N Am Benthol Soc 10: 89–114Google Scholar
  34. Newman RM, Maher LM (1995) New records and distribution of aquatic insect herbivores of watermilfoils (Haloragaceae: Myriophyllum spp.) in Minnesota. Entomol News 106: 6–12Google Scholar
  35. Papaj DR, Rausher MD (1983) Individual variation in host location by phytophagous insects. In: Ahmad S (ed) Herbivorous insects: host-seeking behavior and mechanisms. Academic Press, New York, pp 77–124Google Scholar
  36. Prokopy RJ, Diehl SR, Coley S (1988) Behavioral evidence for host races in Rhagoletis pomonella flies. Oecologia 76: 138–47Google Scholar
  37. Sheldon SP, Creed RP (1995) Use of a native insect as a biological control for an introduced weed. Ecol Appl 5: 1122–1132Google Scholar
  38. Singer MC (1982) Quantification of host preference by manipulation of oviposition behavior in the butterfly Euphydryas editha. Oecologia 52: 224–229Google Scholar
  39. Slansky F (1992) Allelochemical-nutrient interactions in herbivore nutritional ecology. In: Rosenthal GA, Berenbaum MR (ed) Herbivores: their interactions with secondary plant metabolites, 2nd edn. Vol. II. Evolutionary and ecological processes. Academic Press, San Diego, Calif, pp 135–174Google Scholar
  40. Solarz SL (1995) Oviposition behavior of the weevil Euhrychiopsis lecontei and isolation of an attractant from its host plant Eurasian watermilfoil Myriophyllum spicatum. MS thesis, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MinnGoogle Scholar
  41. Szentesi A, Jermy T (1990) The role of experience in host plant choice by phytophagous insects. In: Bernays EA (ed) Insect-plant interactions, vol. 2. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla, pp 39–74Google Scholar
  42. Smith CS, Barko JW (1990) Ecology of Eurasian watermilfoil. J Aquat Plant Manage 28: 55–64Google Scholar
  43. Wiklund C (1984) Egg-laying patterns in butterflies in relation to their phenology and the visual apparency and abundance of their host plants. Oecologia 63: 23–29Google Scholar
  44. Williams KS (1983) The coevolution of Euphydryas chalcedona butterflies and their larval host plants. III. Oviposition behavior and host plant quality. Oecologia 56: 336–340Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Fisheries und WildlifeUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA

Personalised recommendations