Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We develop a general theoretical framework for exploring the host plant selection behaviour of herbivorous insects. This model can be used to address a number of questions, including the evolution of specialists, generalists, preference hierarchies, and learning. We use our model to: (i) demonstrate the consequences of the extent to which the reproductive success of a foraging female is limited by the rate at which they find host plants (host limitation) or the number of eggs they carry (egg limitation); (ii) emphasize the different consequences of variation in behaviour before and after landing on (locating) a host (termed pre- and post-alighting, respectively); (iii) show that, in contrast to previous predictions, learning can be favoured in post-alighting behaviour--in particular, individuals can be selected to concentrate oviposition on an abundant low-quality host, whilst ignoring a rare higher-quality host; (iv) emphasize the importance of interactions between mechanisms in favouring specialization or learning.

Original publication

DOI

10.1006/jtbi.2001.2475

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Theor Biol

Publication Date

07/02/2002

Volume

214

Pages

499 - 513

Keywords

Animals, Choice Behavior, Insecta, Models, Biological, Oviposition, Plants