Konishi, Kana Graduate School of Environmental and Life Science, Okayama University
Matsumura, Kentarou Graduate School of Environmental and Life Science, Okayama University
Sakuno, Wataru Graduate School of Environmental and Life Science, Okayama University
Death feigning is considered to be an adaptive antipredator behaviour. Previous studies on Tribolium castaneum have shown that prey which death feign have a fitness advantage over those that do not when using a jumping spider as the predator. Whether these effects are repeatable across species or whether they can be seen in nature is, however, unknown. Therefore, the present study involved two experiments: (a) divergent artificial selection for the duration of death feigning using a related species T. freemani as prey and a predatory bug as predator, demonstrating that previous results are repeatable across both prey and predator species, and (b) comparison of the death‐feigning duration of T. castaneum populations collected from field sites with and without predatory bugs. In the first experiment, T. freemani adults from established selection regimes with longer durations of death feigning had higher survival rates and longer latency to being preyed on when they were placed with predatory bugs than the adults from regimes selected for shorter durations of death feigning. As a result, the adaptive significance of death‐feigning behaviour was demonstrated in another prey–predator system. In the second experiment, wild T. castaneum beetles from populations with predators feigned death longer than wild beetles from predator‐free populations. Combining the results from these two experiments with those from previous studies provided strong evidence that predators drive the evolution of longer death feigning.
This fulltext is available in May 2021.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
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