Parasitized salamanders are inferior competitors for territories and food resources

Citation
Ds. Maksimowich et A. Mathis, Parasitized salamanders are inferior competitors for territories and food resources, ETHOLOGY, 106(4), 2000, pp. 319-329
Citations number
37
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ETHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0179-1613 → ACNP
Volume
106
Issue
4
Year of publication
2000
Pages
319 - 329
Database
ISI
SICI code
0179-1613(200004)106:4<319:PSAICF>2.0.ZU;2-0
Abstract
Parasites have been shown to impair the behaviour of their hosts, compromis ing the host's ability to exploit and compete for resources. We conducted t wo experiments to determine whether infestation with an ectoparasitic mite (Hannemania eltoni) was associated with changes in aggressive and foraging behaviour in the Ozark zigzag salamander, Plethodon angusticlavius. In a fi rst experiment, male salamanders with high parasite loads were less aggress ive overall than males with low parasite loads during territorial disputes. In addition, males with high parasite loads were more aggressive toward op ponents with high parasite loads (symmetric contests) than toward opponents with low parasite loads (asymmetric contests). In contrast, males with low parasite loads did not adjust their level of aggression according to the p arasite load of the opponent. In a second experiment, foraging behaviour of females was tested in response to 'familiar' (Drosophila) prey and 'novel' (termite) prey. Latency to first capture was significantly longer for para sitized than non-parasitized females when tested with 'familiar' prey, but not for 'novel' prey. Our results suggest that parasite-mediated effects ma y have profound influences on individual fitness in nature.