Generation cycles in Indonesian lady beetle populations may occur as a result of cannibalism.
Nakamura K., Hasant N., Abbas I., Godfray HC., Bonsall MB.
Generation cycles, population cycles with a period of approximately one generation, have been observed in a variety of field and laboratory studies. Such dynamics are predicted to arise through the effects of resource competition and cannibalism or involve consumer-natural enemy interactions. We first show, using a new highly simplified model, that generation cycles are a very common outcome of strongly age-structured intraspecific interactions involving cannibalism. We then analyse a series of unique long-term time-series of ladybeetle (Coccinellidae) abundances from tropical Indonesia. Some of the time-series display clear generation cycles, and we argue that there is strong evidence that these are caused by intraspecific cannibalism.