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The implications of chemical defence on animal decisions in escape theory

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thesis
posted on 28.03.2022, 15:53 authored by Braxton R. Jones
Decisions made by prey during a predator attack have direct impact on fitness. The prey's escape strategy is influenced by a range of factors such as the distance prey are from their refuge, type of anti-predator defence used, location of the predator and speed and directness of predator approach. Although defence type is previously considered, they are primarily limited to either flight decisions or adaptive colouration strategies. In contrast, the implications of possessing chemical defences have been overlooked. In this thesis, I investigate the conditions under which the peppermint stick insect (Megacrania batesii) deploys its chemical defence. Previous lab experiments failed to induce spraying prior to contact which contradicts field observations. This suggested the likelihood of spraying is contextual. Subsequently, I tested the a priori that this stick insect is more likely to use their spray the further they are from their refuge. Results indicate distance to refuge has an influence on the likelihood of spraying. I also describe a novel flight strategy and discuss the implications of these findings relative to escape theory in light of theories on the maintenance of parthenogenesis -- abstract.

History

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction -- Chapter 2. Methods -- Chapter 3. Results -- Chapter 4. Discussion -- Appendices

Notes

Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 42-47

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes

Degree

MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Department of Biological Sciences

Department, Centre or School

Department of Biological Sciences

Year of Award

2019

Principal Supervisor

Matthew W. Bulbert

Rights

Copyright Braxton R. Jones 2019

Language

English

Extent

1 online resource (50 pages)

Former Identifiers

mq:72142 http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/1281803