Animal Behavior

Why do leaf-tying caterpillars abandon their leaf ties?

Published on 2013-09-26 in PeerJ, vol 1. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.173
Leaf-tying caterpillars act as ecosystem engineers by building shelters between overlapping leaves, which are inhabited by other arthropods. Leaf-tiers have been observed to leave their ties and create new shelters (and thus additional microhabitats), but the ecological factors affecting shelter fidelity are poorly known. For this study, we explored the effects of resource limitation and occupant density on shelter fidelity and assessed the consequences of shelter abandonment. We first… Read more