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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Sex-Biased Phoretic Mite Load on Two Seaweed Flies: Coelopa frigida and Coelopa pilipes
Authors: Gilburn, Andre
Stewart, Katie M
Edward, Dominic A
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Keywords: sex-biased parasitism
Issue Date: Dec-2009
Publisher: Entomological Society of America
Citation: Gilburn A, Stewart KM & Edward DA (2009) Sex-Biased Phoretic Mite Load on Two Seaweed Flies: Coelopa frigida and Coelopa pilipes, Ecological Entomology, 38 (6), pp. 1608-1612.
Abstract: ABSTRACT Two hypotheses explain male-biased parasitism. Physiological costs of male sexually selected characteristics can reduce immunocompetence. Alternatively, ecological differences could generate male-biased parasitism. One method of comparing the importance of the two theories is to investigate patterns of phoresy, which are only likely to be generated by ecological rather than immunological differences between the sexes. Here we studied the pattern of phoresy of the mite, Thinoseius fucicola, on two species of seaweed by hosts, Coelopa frigida and Coelopa pilipes.We found a highly male-biased pattern of phoresy of T. fucicola on both species. These are the first reported instances of sex-biased phoresy in a solely phoretic parasite. We also show the first two cases of size-biased phoresy. We suggest that ecological factors, particularly, male mate searching, generated male biased patterns of phoresy. We highlight the potential importance of studies of phoresy in determining the relative roles of the immunocompetence and ecological theories in generating male-biased parasitism. We suggest that more studies of patterns of phoresy are carried out to allow detailed comparisons with patterns of parasitism.
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Statement from society website: Authors may post electronic reprints of their own journal articles after an embargo period of two years has passed from the date of publication. Also, authors must include on the electronic reprint the following statement: This article is the copyright property of the Entomological Society of America and may not be used for any commercial or other private purpose without specific written permission of the Entomological Society of America.; Published in Environmental Entomology. Copyright © 2009 Entomological Society of America.
Affiliation: Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Stirling
University of Stirling

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