Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Lychnis moth (Hadena bicruris) lays more eggs in isolated areas


The Lychnis moth (Hadena bicruris) is laying more eggs on white campion (Silene latifolia), due to the increasing fragmentation of the countryside. Dutch researcher Jelmer Elzinga studied how many white campion seeds were eaten by Lychnis moth caterpillars at various locations along the River Waal.

Elzinga discovered that at small and isolated locations, Lychnis moth caterpillars consumed more white campion seeds. This increased consumption was thought to be due to a decrease in the number of ichneumon flies, which kill the caterpillars. However, Elzinga demonstrated that this hypothesis is not correct.

Upon hatching, Lychnis caterpillars eat the seeds of the white campion on a massive scale. Half of these caterpillars die prematurely due to attacks by ichneumon flies. The increasing fragmentation of the countryside means that areas of natural habitat are becoming smaller and more isolated. Moths, such as the Lychnis, are thought to easily spread between the various fragments whereas the much smaller ichneumon flies cannot.

Based on this knowledge, Jelmer Elzinga investigated whether caterpillars more frequently attacked white campion in strongly fragmented areas. It was expected that the poor distribution of the ichneumon flies would lead to less caterpillars dying, and therefore the plants being attacked more.

Elzinga discovered that the white campion was indeed attacked more in small and isolated growing areas. He also found that in such areas, fewer caterpillars were attacked by ichneumon flies and fewer ichneumon fly species were present.

However, ichneumon flies only attack the caterpillars when they are almost fully grown. Therefore, the poor distribution of the ichneumon flies could not explain the increased consumption of the seeds. Elzinga found that this extra consumption was due to the Lychnis moth laying more eggs in isolated growing locations of the white campion.

The research was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

Dr A. (Arjen) Biere | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microbe hunters discover long-sought-after iron-munching microbe
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie

nachricht Seeking balanced networks: how neurons adjust their proteins during homeostatic scaling.
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Seeking balanced networks: how neurons adjust their proteins during homeostatic scaling.

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

More VideoLinks >>>