Alteration of oviposition behavior by Battus philenor butterflies in response to variation in host-plant density.


Journal Article

As host-plant density increases, the oviposition rate of the pipevine swallowtail increases, then levels off. By contrast, alighting rates continue to increase with host density approximately linearly. The leveling off of oviposition rates is caused by a decline in the probability that a female will oviposit once she alights on a plant. These phenomena are due to an increase in female selectivity as plant density increases, rather than to a limit on oviposition rate imposed by the rate of egg maturation. This type of behavioral response is a mechanism that can explain in part the tendency of many herbivorous insects to aggregate to a greater degree in low-density than in high-density stands of host plants. -from Author

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rausher, MD

Published Date

  • January 1, 1983

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 64 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1028 - 1034

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0012-9658

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2307/1937810

Citation Source

  • Scopus