Predator exaptations and defensive adaptations in evolutionary balance: No defence is perfect

  title={Predator exaptations and defensive adaptations in evolutionary balance: No defence is perfect},
  author={Reuven Yosef and Douglas W. Whitman},
  journal={Evolutionary Ecology},
SummaryThe lubber grasshopper,Romalea guttata, is large, aposematic, and extremely toxic. In feeding trials with 21 bird and lizard species, none were able to consume this chemically defended prey. Predators that attempted to eat lubbers, often gagged, regurgitated, and sometimes died. Loggerhead shrikes,Lanius ludovicianus, regularly impale this toxic prey in peninsular Florida. They, like other bird species, are unable to consume fresh lubbers. However, our tests show that they are able to… 
Predatory behavior and physiological response of Chinese mantids to toxic and non-toxic lepidopteran prey
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Large size as an antipredator defense in an insect
An evolutionary scenario whereby a change in feeding behavior toward vertebrate-toxic plants served as an evolutionary breakthrough, setting in motion the subsequent evolution of increased chemical defense and large body size in lubbers is proposed.
Survival advantage of sluggish individuals in aggregations of aposematic prey, during encounters with ambush predators
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True Shrikes are sit-and-wait predators that hunt prey from elevated perches and frequently impale them on sharp objects in conspicuous places and eviscerated their prey in a sequence of very quick stereotypic behaviors.
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The effects of variable predators on models that combine positive frequency‐ dependent, frequency‐independent, and negative frequency‐dependent predation are explored and it is shown that weak signaling of aposematic species can evolve if predators vary in their tendency to attack defended prey.
Pretty Picky for a Generalist: Impacts of Toxicity and Nutritional Quality on Mantid Prey Processing
The results suggest that post-capture prey processing by mantids is likely driven by a sophisticated assessment of resource quality and may reflect the mantid's ability to regulate nutrient uptake.
Direction and strength of selection by predators for the color of the aposematic wood tiger moth
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Batesian mimicry in plants: The significance of shared leaf shape between Alseuosmia pusilla and Pseudowintera colorata
There is an immense amount of variation in leaf shape, size, and colouration, both across and within plant species, and it is possible that an undefended plant might gain protection from herbivores by matching leaf characteristics of a chemically defended species, according to a robust spatially explicit morphometric analysis method.


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The ability of a generalist herbivore,Romalea guttata, to facilely bioaccumulate a potpourri of foreign allelochemicals when feeding in a specialist mode is analyzed in terms of its biochemical, physiological, and functional significance.
Reduction in diet breadth results in sequestration of plant chemicals and increases efficacy of chemical defense in a generalist grasshopper
Defensive secretions of insects reared on wild onion were significantly more deterrent, by as much as an order of magnitude, to two species of ant predators than secretions from insects on either of the other two diets, despite a reduction in the concentration of autogenous defensive chemicals.
Birds can overcome the cardenolide defence of monarch butterflies in Mexico
It is reported here that the Mexican butterflies are weakly emetic, and that taste discrimination by orioles and cardenolide insensitivity of grosbeaks allow these birds to feed freely on monarch butterflies.
  • L. Brower, W. Calvert
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1985
Bird predation thus is sufficient to have played a major role in shaping the evolution of the monarch's overwintering and aggregation behavior.
Biochemical and evolutionary aspects of arthropod predation on ferns
It is found that in a measured locality, ferns were no less attacked than the angiospermous flora in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, suggesting possible coevolution of arthropods and f Ferns both before and after the radiation of angiosperms.
Chemical Defense in Taeniopoda eques (Orthoptera: Acrididae): Role of the Metathoracic Secretion
The conclusions that T. eques is unpalatable to O. torridus and that its secretion serves a defensive role are especially relevant considering the close natural sympatry of these organisms.
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Idiosyncratic variation in chemical defenses among individual generalist grasshoppers
The defensive secretion of the lubber grasshopper shows extreme chemical variation among individual adults of the same sex within a single wild population, and the specificity of chemical cues used by predators may explain why these defenses are so idiosyncratic.
Anatomy, ultrastructure, and functional morphology of the metathoracic tracheal defensive glands of the grasshopper Romalea guttata
In the lubber grasshopper Romalea guttata, the respiratory system produces, stores, and delivers a phenolic defensive secretion that drives air and secretion out of the spiracle with an audible hiss.
An Evolutionary and Ecological Perspective of the Insect Fauna of Ferns
Differences in morphological complexity between angiosperms and ferns probably accounts for a portion of the underutilization of f Ferns, but chemical defense mechanisms and ecological characteristics such as population size or phenology may be of importance.