Dispersal depends on body condition and predation risk in the semi-aquatic insect, Notonecta undulata

backswimmer, Notonecta undulata
Monday, June 15, 2015 - 8:03am

If you are feel’in good but scared – FLY! This seems to be how backswimmers live their lives in our local ponds according to a new paper by PhD student Celina Baines (McCauley Lab). Celina published “Dispersal depends on body condition and predation risk in the semi-aquatic insect, Notonecta undulata” in Ecology and Evolution. Previous studies demonstrated that dispersal is influenced by body condition and predation risk, while few studies have separated the combined effects of these factors. Celina manipulated body condition and the presence of fish and measured the consequences for dispersal in the field. She found that dispersal was a positive function of body condition and predation risk, which may have important consequences for population characteristics such as population growth. Congrats on this exciting paper!