This study examines the oviposition response of a specialist weevil (Mogulones larvatus) to patches of its host, the noxious weed Paterson's curse/salvation Jane (Echium plantagineum). We simultaneously examined the effect of patch size and plant density (and their interaction), on the recorded oviposition patterns. Our results show that oviposition first occurred on the largest patches with the highest number of plants. However, there was no significant effect of patch size or number of plants per patch at the end of the experiment. At this time the level of attack per plant was negatively correlated with plant density. This negative effect of density on the level of oviposition was not mediated by a reduction in plant size at higher densities. The pattern observed may indicate a risk-spreading strategy by females.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics