Gregariousness does not vary with geography, developmental stage, or group relatedness in feeding redheaded pine sawfly larvae.

TitleGregariousness does not vary with geography, developmental stage, or group relatedness in feeding redheaded pine sawfly larvae.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
JournalEcology and evolution
Volume7
Issue11
Pagination3689-3702
Abstract

Aggregations are widespread across the animal kingdom, yet the underlying proximate and ultimate causes are still largely unknown. An ideal system to investigate this simple, social behavior is the pine sawfly genus , which is experimentally tractable and exhibits interspecific variation in larval gregariousness. To assess intraspecific variation in this trait, we characterized aggregative tendency within a single widespread species, the redheaded pine sawfly (). To do so, we developed a quantitative assay in which we measured interindividual distances over a 90-min video. This assay revealed minimal behavioral differences: (1) between early-feeding and late-feeding larval instars, (2) among larvae derived from different latitudes, and (3) between groups composed of kin and those composed of nonkin. Together, these results suggest that, during the larval feeding period, the benefits individuals derive from aggregating outweigh the costs and that this cost-to-benefit ratio does not vary dramatically across space (geography) or ontogeny (developmental stage). In contrast to the feeding larvae, our assay revealed a striking reduction in gregariousness following the final larval molt in . We also found some intriguing interspecific variation: While and feeding larvae exhibit significant aggregative tendencies, feeding larvae do not aggregate at all. These results set the stage for future work investigating the proximate and ultimate mechanisms underlying developmental and interspecific variation in larval gregariousness across .

URLhttps://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2952
DOI10.1002/ece3.2952
Short TitleEcol Evol
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