Integration of multiple cues allows threat-sensitive anti-intraguild predator responses in predatory mites

Author(s)
Andreas Walzer, Peter Schausberger
Abstract

Intraguild (IG) prey is commonly confronted with multiple IG predator species. However, the IG predation (IGP) risk for prey is not only dependent on the predator species, but also on inherent (intraspecific) characteristics of a given IG predator such as its life-stage, sex or gravidity and the associated prey needs. Thus, IG prey should have evolved the ability to integrate multiple IG predator cues, which should allow both inter- and intraspecific threat-sensitive anti-predator responses. Using a guild of plant-inhabiting predatory mites sharing spider mites as prey, we evaluated the effects of single and combined cues (eggs and/or chemical traces left by a predator female on the substrate) of the low risk IG predator Neoseiulus californicus and the high risk IG predator Amblyseius andersoni on time, distance and path shape parameters of the larval IG prey Phytoseiulus persimilis. IG prey discriminated between traces of the low and high risk IG predator, with and without additional presence of their eggs, indicating interspecific threat-sensitivity. The behavioural changes were manifest in distance moved, activity and path shape of IG prey. The cue combination of traces and eggs of the IG predators conveyed other information than each cue alone, allowing intraspecific threat-sensitive responses by IG prey apparent in changed velocities and distances moved. We argue that graded responses to single and combined IG predator cues are adaptive due to minimization of acceptance errors in IG prey decision making.

Organisation(s)
External organisation(s)
Universität für Bodenkultur Wien
Journal
Behaviour: an international journal of behaviourial biology
Volume
150
Pages
115-132
No. of pages
18
ISSN
0005-7959
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1163/1568539X-00003040
Publication date
2013
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
106047 Animal ecology, 106051 Behavioural biology
Keywords
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/integration-of-multiple-cues-allows-threatsensitive-antiintraguild-predator-responses-in-predatory-mites(506c5f1f-ff6a-49ea-bfec-3c44790f0ac0).html