Variation of density‐dependence with spatial scale in the leaf‐mining fly Liriomyza commelinae (Diptera: Agromyzidae)


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Abstract. 1. Mortality imposed on the leaf mining fly, Liriomyza commelinae (Frost) was studied at three spatial levels: (1) the leaf, (2) the stem, and (3) a metre quadrat of the food plant. 2. Real mortality (R.M.) (death as a percentage of eggs laid) during development for five sites over 3 years (forty‐seven generations) was 96.3 + 1.9% ‐2.5% (±95% c.l.), due mainly to parasitoids and predatory ants, with a small component due to competition and other causes. 3. Real mortality due to the parasitoid complex averaged 41.2%. It was not related to population density in leaves or stems but was positively dependent on density in one metre quadrats. 4. Predation by Crematogaster brevispinosa Mayr was 21.2% and was independent of population density at all spatial levels. 5. Mortality due to other causes (e.g. competition and exposure to high temperature resulting from insolation) was positively dependent on the number of mines per leaf at three out of five sites studied and the number of mines per stem at two of the three sites studied; however, such mortality was independent of density per metre quadrat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalEcological Entomology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Agromyzidae
  • Chrysocharis
  • Crematogaster.
  • Liriomyza
  • density‐dependence
  • mortality
  • parasitoids
  • population dynamics
  • predators


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