Spider mite mothers adjust reproduction and sons’ alternative reproductive tactics to immigrating alien conspecifics

Author(s)
Peter Schausberger, Tetsuo Gotoh, Yukie Sato
Abstract

Maternal effects on environmentally induced alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) are poorly understood but likely to be selected for if mothers can reliably predict offspring environments. We assessed maternal effects in two populations (Y and G) of herbivorous arrhenotokous spider mites Tetranychus urticae, where males conditionally express fighting and sneaking tactics in male–male combat and pre-copulatory guarding behaviour. We hypothesized that resident mothers should adjust their reproduction and sons’ ARTs to immigrating alien conspecifics in dependence of alien conspecifics posing a fitness threat or advantage. To induce maternal effects, females were exposed to own or alien socio-environments and mated to own or alien males. Across maternal and sons’ reproductive traits, the maternal socio-environment induced stronger effects than the maternal mate, and G-mothers responded more strongly to Y-influence than vice versa. G-socio-environments and Y-mates enhanced maternal egg production in both populations. Maternal exposure to G-socio-environments demoted, yet maternal Y-mates promoted, guarding occurrence and timing by sons. Sneakers guarded earlier than fighters in Y-environments, whereas the opposite happened in G-environments. The endosymbiont Cardinium, present in G, did not exert any classical effect but may have played a role via the shared plant. Our study highlights interpopulation variation in immediate and anticipatory maternal responses to immigrants.

Organisation(s)
External organisation(s)
Sugadaira Research Station, National University Corporation Tsukuba University of Technology, Universität Wien, Ibaraki University, Ryutsu Keizai University
Journal
Royal Society Open Science
Volume
6
ISSN
2054-5703
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.191201
Publication date
11-2019
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
106051 Behavioural biology
Keywords
ASJC Scopus subject areas
General
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/spider-mite-mothers-adjust-reproduction-and-sons-alternative-reproductive-tactics-to-immigrating-alien-conspecifics(a1436610-9d72-4878-980d-fb33b1b206b2).html