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Is the spread of the alien water boatman Trichocorixa verticalis aided by zoochory and drought resistant eggs?

Desiccation resistance is a key trait determining the distribution of aquatic insects, their potential for overland dispersal, and survival during drought periods in temporary waterbodies, as well as the spread of invasive species. Passive dispersal by waterbirds can favour the spread of invasive species and is more likely to occur for insects with eggs resistant to desiccation or gut passage. This study investigated the hypothesis that the eggs of the alien boatman Trichocorixa verticalis verticalis are resistant to desiccation and digestion. Experiments were conducted to test for egg resistance to desiccation in still air and under moving air conditions, to simulate bird flight. Oviposition on greater flamingo legs and wetland plants was tested in the laboratory and in the field. Resistance of eggs to simulated gut passage was studied, as was the viability of eggs recovered from Eurasian coot droppings in the field. Only a fraction of eggs hatched after 8 hr of exposure to still air at 15°C (4% of exposed eggs), and after 2 hr exposure to air flow conditions at 20°C (8%). Oviposition on flamingo legs was confirmed in the laboratory but not in the field. However, oviposition rates were higher on plant stems than on flamingo legs. Digestion simulations showed very low resistance to chemical treatment and no resistance to scarification, and eggs recovered from coot droppings (only 3 out of 86 were apparently intact) did not hatch. The results suggest the dispersal of eggs on legs of flamingos or other waterbirds may occur as rare events. This epizoochory of eggs could potentially contribute to the expansion and gene flow of T. v. verticalis around the Mediterranean region. Carbonell, et al (2020) Is the spread of the alien water boatman Trichocorixa verticalis (Hemiptera, Corixidae) aided by zoochory and drought resistant eggs? Freshwater Biology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fwb.13647


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/fwb.13647
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Content with tag dispersal .

Endozoochory of similar plants by storks and gulls

Research into the dispersal of plants lacking a fleshy fruit by avian endozoochory remains limited, particularly regarding the different roles of specific vectors in the same habitat. Plants...

Long-term dynamics of dispersal patterns

Dispersal movements of animals may be jointly influenced by the phenotype of dispersers and the environmental and social conditions in the source and destination areas. Dispersal is often strongly...

Dispersal capacity explains the evolution of lifespan variability

The evolutionary explanation for lifespan variation is still based on the antagonistic pleiotropy hypothesis, which has been challenged by several studies. Alternative models assume the existence...