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Do turning biases by the 7-spot ladybird, Coccinella septempunctata, increase their foraging efficiency?

Record type: Article

The hypothesis that foraging male and female Coccinella septempunctata L. would exhibit a turning bias when walking along a branched linear wire in a Y-maze was tested. Individuals were placed repeatedly in the maze. Approximately 45% of all individuals tested displayed significant turning biases, with a similar number of individuals biased to the left and right. In the maze right-handed individuals turned right at 84.4% of turns and the left-handed individuals turned left at 80.2% of turns. A model of the searching efficiency of C. septempunctata in dichotomous branched environments showed that model coccinellids with greater turning biases discovered a higher proportion of the plant for a given number of searches than those with no bias. A modification of the model to investigate foraging efficiency, by calculating the mean time taken by individuals to find randomly distributed aphid patches, suggested that on four different sizes of plants, with a variety of aphid patch densities, implementing a turning bias was a significantly more efficient foraging strategy than no bias. In general the benefits to foraging of implementing a turning bias increased with the degree of the bias. It may be beneficial for individuals in highly complex branched environments to have a turning bias slightly lower than 100% in order to benefit from increased foraging efficiency without walking in circles. Foraging bias benefits increased with increasing plant size and decreasing aphid density. In comparisons of two different plant morphologies, one with a straight stem and side branches and one with a symmetrically branched morphology, there were few significant differences in the effects of turning biases on foraging efficiency between morphologies.

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Citation

Girling, Robbie, Hassall, Mark and Turner, John G. (2007) Do turning biases by the 7-spot ladybird, Coccinella septempunctata, increase their foraging efficiency? Behaviour, 144, (2), pp. 143-163. (doi:10.1163/156853907779947337).

More information

Published date: 2007
Keywords: cropping strategy, outline tracing, handedness, foraging efficiency simulation model

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 167234
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/167234
ISSN: 0005-7959
PURE UUID: 7b3ff267-262f-41d9-8fcf-49fcf077e4da

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Nov 2010 09:51
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:24

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Contributors

Author: Robbie Girling
Author: Mark Hassall
Author: John G. Turner

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