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Influence of larval experience on preference of a subterranean insect Delia antiqua on Allium hosts

Ning, S. Y., Yang, H. Y., Fan, D. S., Feng, J. N.
Journal of applied entomology 2018 v.142 no.1-2 pp. 263-271
Allium, Delia antiqua, adults, bioassays, females, host plants, host preferences, insects, larvae, oviposition, rearing
Numerous studies have reported that larval experience can affect subsequent host plants selection and future oviposition decisions of many different species, but the investigation of pre‐imaginal experiences on host preference of adults has rarely been tested for soil‐dwelling insects. In this study, we present evidence that larval feeding experience can affect adult host preference in the onion maggot, Delia antiqua. By rearing D. antiqua on different host plants, we were able to examine the role of the natal host of different generations and the effect of larval density on host‐choice behaviour. We also performed bioassays by means of switched host treatment to evaluate the host‐selection principle. Choice bioassays among the three host species demonstrated that D. antiqua females preferred to oviposit on their natal host in each generation and host‐switching treatments. Additionally, increasing larval density could intensify this ovipositional preference on the natal host. The overall results showed that host preference of female D. antiqua is determined by larval experience and density. These findings also add support for the controversial Hopkins’ host‐selection principle.