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Host reproduction and a sexually transmitted disease: causes and consequences of Coccipolipus hippodamiae distribution on coccinellid beetles.
J ANIM ECOL
1 - 10.
1. We know that sexually transmitted parasites and pathogens have extremely deleterious effects in human and domesticated animal populations, but know little of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in natural populations.2. One previously reported natural system is the sexually transmitted mite, Coccipolipus hippodamiae, on the eastern European coccinellid, Adalia bipunctata. Our aims were to determine how widespread this parasite is in terms of incidence and prevalence across host species, to identify the causes of the prevalence pattern and whether the parasite reduces fertility in all host species.3. Coccipolipus hippodamiae was present on four of 19 European species examined. The wide distribution and high prevalence of C. hippodamiae on A. bipunctata indicates that this is the major host. The mite was also present at substantial prevalence on Adalia decempunctata and at lower prevalence on Synharmonia (=Oenopia) conglobata and Calvia quatuordecimguttata.4. Laboratory studies on mite development time and transmission efficiency revealed that although physiological factors may affect incidence, they do not explain prevalence variation between hosts, but characteristics of host life history and reproductive behaviour are important in this context. Adalia bipunctata is more promiscuous than the less commonly infected A. decempunctata and S. conglobata. Diapause is needed before breeding will occur in C. quatuordecimguttata, leading to a lack of the consistent sexual activity between generations, which is needed for STD maintenance. Calvia quatuordecimguttata is probably periodically reinfected through hybrid matings with other host species.5. Coccipolipus hippodamiae infection has similar strong deleterious effects on female reproduction in A. decempunctata and S. conglobata as have previously been demonstrated in A. bipunctata.6. The results indicate that STDs may play a profound role in the ecology of promiscuous insect populations with overlapping generations. Here they may reach significant prevalence whilst exhibiting extreme virulence.
|Title:||Host reproduction and a sexually transmitted disease: causes and consequences of Coccipolipus hippodamiae distribution on coccinellid beetles|
|Keywords:||Adalia bipunctata, podapolipid mite, sexually transmitted parasite, virulence, DYNAMICS, SYSTEM, INSECT|
|UCL classification:||UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Statistical Science|
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