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Data from: Functional diversity and trade-offs in divergent anti-predator morphologies in herbivorous insects

Citation

Shinohara, Tadashi; Takami, Yasuoki (2021), Data from: Functional diversity and trade-offs in divergent anti-predator morphologies in herbivorous insects, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.kprr4xh22

Abstract

Predator–prey interactions may be responsible for enormous morphological diversity in prey species. We performed predation experiments with morphological manipulations (ablation) to investigate the defensive function of dorsal spines and explanate margins in Cassidinae leaf beetles against three types of predators: assassin bugs (stinger), crab spiders (biter), and tree frogs (swallower). There was mixed support for the importance of primary defense mechanisms (i.e., preventing detection or identification). Intact spined prey possessing dorsal spines were more likely to be attacked by assassin bugs and tree frogs, while intact armored preys possessing explanate margins were likely to avoid attack by assassin bugs. In support of the secondary defense mechanisms (i.e., preventing subjugation), dorsal spines had a significant physical defensive function against tree frogs, and explanate margins protected against assassin bugs and crab spiders. Our results suggest a trade-off between primary and secondary defenses. Dorsal spines improved the secondary defense but weakened the primary defense against tree frogs. We also detected a trade-off in which dorsal spines and explanate margins improved secondary defenses against mutually exclusive predator types. Adaptation to different predatory regimes and functional trade-offs may mediate the diversification of external morphological defenses in Cassidinae leaf beetles.

Usage Notes

Predation experiments with morphological manipulations were performed to investigate the defensive function of external morphologies in Cassidinae leaf beetles against three types of predators: assassin bugs, crab spiders, and tree frogs. In total, 572 trials were performed from May to October in 2015 and 2016.