Is death-feigning adaptive? Heritable variation in fitness difference of death-feigning behaviour

Takahisa Miyatake, Kohji Katayama, Yukari Takeda, Akiko Nakashima, Atsushi Sugita, Makoto Mizumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

95 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The adaptation of death-feigning (thanatosis), a subject that has been overlooked in evolutionary biology, was inferred in a model prey-and-predator system. We studied phenotypic variation among individuals, fitness differences, and the inheritance of death-feigning behaviour in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Two-way artificial selections for the duration of death-feigning, over 10 generations, showed a clear direct response in the trait and a correlated response in the frequency of death-feigning, thus indicating variation and inheritance of death-feigning behaviour. A comparison of the two selected strains with divergent frequencies of death-feigning showed a significant difference in the fitness for survival when a model predator, a female Adanson jumper spider, Hasarius adansoni Audouin (Araneomophae: Salticidae), was presented to the beetles. The frequency of predation was lower among beetles from strains selected for long-duration than among those for short-duration death-feigning. The results indicate the possibility of the evolution of death-feigning under natural selection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2293-2296
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume271
Issue number1554
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 7 2004

Fingerprint

Tonic Immobility Response
beetle
fitness
death
Beetles
predator
evolutionary biology
individual variation
natural selection
spider
Tribolium castaneum
Coleoptera
predation
duration
inheritance (genetics)
Tribolium
predators
Salticidae
Spiders
artificial selection

Keywords

  • Anti-predator behaviour
  • Artificial selection
  • Defence
  • Immobility
  • Quantitative genetics
  • Thanatosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Is death-feigning adaptive? Heritable variation in fitness difference of death-feigning behaviour. / Miyatake, Takahisa; Katayama, Kohji; Takeda, Yukari; Nakashima, Akiko; Sugita, Atsushi; Mizumoto, Makoto.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 271, No. 1554, 07.11.2004, p. 2293-2296.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Miyatake, Takahisa ; Katayama, Kohji ; Takeda, Yukari ; Nakashima, Akiko ; Sugita, Atsushi ; Mizumoto, Makoto. / Is death-feigning adaptive? Heritable variation in fitness difference of death-feigning behaviour. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2004 ; Vol. 271, No. 1554. pp. 2293-2296.
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