Predator-Prey Interactions between Shell-Boring Beetle Larvae and Rock-Dwelling Land Snails.

Predator-Prey Interactions between Shell-Boring Beetle Larvae and Rock-Dwelling Land Snails.

PLoS One. 2014;9(6):e100366

Authors: Baalbergen E, Helwerda R, Schelfhorst R, Castillo Cajas RF, van Moorsel CH, Kundrata R, Welter-Schultes FW, Giokas S, Schilthuizen M

Abstract
Drilus beetle larvae (Coleoptera: Elateridae) are specialized predators of land snails. Here, we describe various aspects of the predator-prey interactions between multiple Drilus species attacking multiple Albinaria (Gastropoda: Clausiliidae) species in Greece. We observe that Drilus species may be facultative or obligate Albinaria-specialists. We map geographically varying predation rates in Crete, where on average 24% of empty shells carry fatal Drilus bore holes. We also provide first-hand observations and video-footage of prey entry and exit strategies of the Drilus larvae, and evaluate the potential mutual evolutionary impacts. We find limited evidence for an effect of shell features and snail behavioral traits on inter- and intra-specifically differing predation rates. We also find that Drilus predators adjust their predation behavior based on specific shell traits of the prey. In conclusion, we suggest that, with these baseline data, this interesting predator-prey system will be available for further, detailed more evolutionary ecology studies.

PMID: 24964101 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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