Edinburgh Research Explorer

Navigating Infection Risk Data

Dataset

Related Edinburgh Organisations

PublisherDryad
Date made available9 Jul 2018

Description

Data from: Navigating infection risk during oviposition and cannibalistic foraging in a holometabolous insect.

Data gathered from 2 behavioral choice experiments on distinct developmental stages of Drosophila. Both experiments were conducted under laboratory conditions. Larvae were given the choice of cannibalising an infectious or non-infectious carcass and infected or healthy mated females were given the choice of laying eggs on 3 potential oviposition sites containing: food, food and a dead fly or food and a dead infected fly. Following these choice assays we measured the developmental and pathological consequences of these decisions, in the form of egg-to-adult viability and pathogen load.

Abstract

Deciding where to eat and raise offspring carries important fitness consequences for all animals, especially if foraging, feeding and reproduction increase pathogen exposure. In insects with complete metamorphosis, foraging mainly occurs during the larval stage, while oviposition decisions are made by adult females. Selection for infection avoidance behaviours may therefore be developmentally uncoupled. Using a combination of experimental infections and behavioral choice assays, we tested if Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies avoid infectious environments at distinct developmental stages. When given conspecific fly carcasses as a food source, larvae did not discriminate between carcasses that were clean or infected with the pathogenic Drosophila C Virus (DCV), even though cannibalism was a viable route of DCV transmission. When laying eggs, DCV-infected females did not discriminate between infectious and non-infectious carcasses. Healthy mothers however, laid more eggs near a clean rather than an infectious carcass. Avoidance during oviposition changed over time: after an initial oviposition period, healthy mothers stopped avoiding infectious carcasses. We attribute this to a trade-off between infection risk and reproduction. Laying eggs near potentially infectious carcasses was always preferred to sites containing only fly food. Our findings suggest infection avoidance contributes to how mothers provision their offspring and underline the need to consider infection avoidance behaviors at multiple life-stages.

Data Citation

When using this data, please cite the original publication:

Jonathon A Siva-Jothy, Katy M. Monteith, Pedro F Vale; Navigating infection risk during oviposition and cannibalistic foraging in a holometabolous insect, Behavioral Ecology, , ary106, https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/ary106

Additionally, please cite the Dryad data package:

Siva-Jothy JA, Montieth K, Vale PF (2018) Data from: Navigating infection risk during oviposition and cannibalistic foraging in a holometabolous insect. Dryad Digital Repository. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.fm3j82j

ID: 75123791