Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mites form friendly societies: Predatory mites who stick with familiar individuals are more efficient at finding food

Date:
March 29, 2012
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
For plant-inhabiting predatory mites, living among familiar neighbors reduces stress. This allows individuals to focus on other tasks and be more productive, in particular while they are foraging. The new study supports the theory that so-called 'social familiarity' reduces the cognitive, physiological and behavioral costs of group-living, leading to increased efficiency in other tasks.

For plant-inhabiting predatory mites, living among familiar neighbors reduces stress. This allows individuals to focus on other tasks and be more productive, in particular while they are foraging. The new study by Markus Strodl and Peter Schausberger, from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria, supports the theory that so-called 'social familiarity' reduces the cognitive, physiological and behavioral costs of group-living, leading to increased efficiency in other tasks.

Related Articles


Their work is published online in Springer's journal, Naturwissenschaften -- The Science of Nature.

Species living in groups, such as the spider mites' predator, Phytoseiulus persimilis, face a number of stressors including social interactions with other individuals of the same species during the juvenile development phase. This is particularly so when they live in small patches with limited food availability. Within such patches, these individuals compete for food, space and future mates or may even be mutual predators. In order to reduce these conflicts, many group-living species are able to discriminate familiar and unfamiliar individuals based on prior contact, and familiar individuals tend to stick together.

Strodl and Schausberger studied whether a familiar social environment during the juvenile phase had any positive effects on the predatory mite's development. Among this species, group-living is brought about by the predators foraging, reproducing and developing spider mite webs, as well as mutual attraction.

In a series of three experiments, the authors showed that familiarity had significant effects on individual grouping and foraging traits of juvenile P. persimilis. In mixed-age groups of familiar and unfamiliar individuals, familiar individuals preferred to stick together.

Life-stage influenced this grouping behavior: larvae were much closer together than older individuals. In groups of individuals of the same age, the distances between individuals were smaller within groups of familiar mites than within groups of unfamiliar mites.

At similar developmental speed and body size at maturity, juvenile mites held in familiar groups foraged more efficiently than juvenile mites held in unfamiliar groups. The authors also identified a sensitive familiarization period during the larval stage, with memory persisting into the adult stage.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Markus A. Strodl, Peter Schausberger. Social familiarity modulates group living and foraging behaviour of juvenile predatory mites. Naturwissenschaften, 2012; 99 (4): 303 DOI: 10.1007/s00114-012-0903-7

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Mites form friendly societies: Predatory mites who stick with familiar individuals are more efficient at finding food." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120329101619.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2012, March 29). Mites form friendly societies: Predatory mites who stick with familiar individuals are more efficient at finding food. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120329101619.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Mites form friendly societies: Predatory mites who stick with familiar individuals are more efficient at finding food." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120329101619.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) A collection of dinosaur bones reveal a creature that is far more weird and goofy-looking than scientists originally thought when they found just the arm bones nearly 50 years ago, according to a new report in the journal Nature. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins