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Parental crowding influences life-history traits in Locusta migratoria females

Chapuis M.P., Crespin L., Estoup A., Augé-Sabatier A., Foucart A., Lecoq M., Michalakis Y.. 2010. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 100 (1) : p. 9-17.

DOI: 10.1017/S0007485309006853

Parental environments could play an important role in controlling insect outbreaks, provided they influence changes in physiological, developmental or behavioural life-history traits related to fluctuations in population density. However, the potential implication of parental influence in density-related changes in life-history traits remains unclear in many insects that exhibit fluctuating population dynamics, particularly locusts. In this study, we report a laboratory experiment, which enabled us to characterize the life-history trait modifications induced by parental crowding of female individuals from a frequently outbreaking population of Locusta migratoria (Linnaeus) (Orthoptera: Acrididae). We found that a rearing history of crowding led to reduced female oviposition times and increased offspring size but did not affect the developmental time, survival, fecundity, and the sex-ratio and the number of offspring. Because all studied females were raised in a common environment (isolation conditions), these observed reproductive differences are due to trans-generational effects induced by density. We discuss the ecological and evolutionary implications of the observed density-dependent parental effects on the life-history of L. migratoria..

Mots-clés : locusta migratoria; comportement animal; densité de population; femelle; reproduction sexuée; cycle de développement; facteur du milieu; expérimentation en laboratoire; enquête organismes nuisibles; madagascar

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