Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Behavioral variation post-invasion: resemblance in some, but not all, behavioral patterns among invasive and native praying mantids.

Abstract

Animal invasions can be devastating for native species. Behavioral variation is known to influence animal invasions, yet comparatively less is known about how behavioral variation influences invasive-native species interactions. Here we examined how the mean and variance surrounding several behavioral traits in two sympatric species of praying mantis differ and how these behavioral types translate to actual prey capture success using the introduced European mantis, Mantis religiosa, and the native bordered mantis, Stagmomantis limbata. We assayed time spent in the open (risk proneness), response towards a novel prey, and voracity within a population of M. religiosa and S. limbata. We found that the native and invasive mantids displayed no differences in their average behavioral tendencies. The native exhibited significant levels of repeatability in voracity while the invasive did not. The lack of repeatability in the invasive appears to be driven by lower levels of among-individual variation in voracity. This may have evolutionary consequences for native S. limbata if it results in strong selection in native levels of mean and among-individual variation. Significant levels of among-individual differences were found in other behaviors (response to a novel prey and risk proneness) across species, suggesting less selection on invasive behavioral variation in these traits. Risk proneness and response towards a novel prey also formed a behavioral syndrome across species, yet neither behavior was correlated with voracity in either species. Our results illustrate the need to examine the ecological effects of behavioral variation of both invasive and native species to determine how that might impact invasive-native interactions.