Invasive alien pest insect species represent a major threat for agriculture and biodiversity. Because chemical treatments employed to contrast such pests elicit serious environmental and human health problems, a great effort is currently directed to develop long term and environmentally friendly biological control strategies. However, the successful application of some promising techniques, such as the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), requires a deep knowledge of the pest basic biology. Here, we argue that understanding pest sexual biology using a social network approach can significantly improve the performance of control strategies. For example, SIT may benefit from understanding how individuals interact and how males accede to reproduction, in order to target the most reproductively active and polygamic males. In this paper we studied the socio-sexual networks of the Asian red palm weevil (RPW) Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, a worldwide invader which is causing heavy economic impacts on several palm species. We found that the RPW has a highly promiscuous mating system, characterized by forced interruptions of pair copulations by additional males. The social network is highly non-random nor regular: few males almost monopolize reproduction, behaving as key-players in the network of matings. Additionally, males have a stable pattern of sexual behaviour over time. We use RPW social network as a case study to direct the development of management techniques such as SIT strategy

A network of sex and competition: the promiscuous mating system of an invasive weevil

CINI, ALESSANDRO
2015

Abstract

Invasive alien pest insect species represent a major threat for agriculture and biodiversity. Because chemical treatments employed to contrast such pests elicit serious environmental and human health problems, a great effort is currently directed to develop long term and environmentally friendly biological control strategies. However, the successful application of some promising techniques, such as the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), requires a deep knowledge of the pest basic biology. Here, we argue that understanding pest sexual biology using a social network approach can significantly improve the performance of control strategies. For example, SIT may benefit from understanding how individuals interact and how males accede to reproduction, in order to target the most reproductively active and polygamic males. In this paper we studied the socio-sexual networks of the Asian red palm weevil (RPW) Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, a worldwide invader which is causing heavy economic impacts on several palm species. We found that the RPW has a highly promiscuous mating system, characterized by forced interruptions of pair copulations by additional males. The social network is highly non-random nor regular: few males almost monopolize reproduction, behaving as key-players in the network of matings. Additionally, males have a stable pattern of sexual behaviour over time. We use RPW social network as a case study to direct the development of management techniques such as SIT strategy
Inghilesi, ALBERTO FRANCESCO; Mazza, Giuseppe; Cervo, Rita; Cini, Alessandro
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/1141807
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 17
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 16
social impact