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Reproductive interference and sensitivity to female pheromones in males and females of two herbivorous mite species.

Authors
  • Sato, Yukie1, 2
  • Alba, Juan M3
  • 1 Mountain Science Center, Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8577, Japan. [email protected] , (Japan)
  • 2 Evolutionary and Population Biology-IBED, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 94240, 1090GE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. [email protected] , (Netherlands)
  • 3 Evolutionary and Population Biology-IBED, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 94240, 1090GE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Experimental and Applied Acarology
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Apr 19, 2020
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10493-020-00492-4
PMID: 32307618
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Competitive interaction between sister species can be affected by reproductive interference (RI) depending on the ability of males to discriminate conspecific from heterospecific mates. We study such interactions in Tetranychus evansi and T. urticae. These spider mites co-occur on solanaceous plants in Southern Europe, and cause important yield losses in tomato crops. Previous studies using Spanish populations found that T. evansi outcompetes T. urticae, and that this is due to unidirectional RI of T. evansi males with T. urticae females. The unidirectional RI is attributed to differences in male mate preference for conspecific females between the two species. Also, differences in the propensity of interspecific web sharing in females plays a role. To investigate proximate mechanisms of this RI, here we study the role of female pheromones on male mate preference and female web sharing. We extracted pheromones from females of the two species, and investigated if males and females were arrested by the pheromone extractions in various concentrations. We observed that T. urticae males were more sensitive to the pheromone extractions and able to discriminate conspecific from heterospecific ones. Tetranychus evansi males, on the other hand, were less sensitive. Females from both species were arrested by conspecific pheromone extraction in lower concentrations. In conclusion, heterospecific mating by T. evansi males, which results in RI, can be explained by their lack of discrimination between female pheromones of the two species. Differences in the propensity of interspecific web sharing in females might not be explained by the pheromones that we investigated.

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