Tiny Green Grasshopper Pharmacy: Does Antibiotic Treatment of Buckwheat Grasses Impact Orthopteran Eating Habits?
Antibiotics are extremely prevalent in modern medicine and are used in treatment of a multitude of bacterial infections and diseases. As such, humans are increasing the abundance of antibiotics in many natural systems, especially those close to range-land systems where cattle are often prophylactically treated with antibiotics. Increases in antibiotics could be detrimental to organisms, such as herbivorous insects that need to maintain their microbiota to help break down their food. A small choice experiment was conducted to determine the effect of the antibiotic tetracycline on the dietary habits of Chortophaga viridifacsiata (Orthoptera: Acrididae), a species of grasshopper native to Ohio. The results of this experiment did not yield significant evidence that C. viridifacsiata show dietary discrimination between grasses treated with tetracycline and grasses grown under normal conditions. However, there was a trend towards reduced feeding on plants grown with antibiotics, which could be important given the small sample sizes of this study. Future experiments will include a wider array of antibiotic treatments as well as multiple species of grasshoppers. If the antibiotic enrichment of these ecosystems is causing changes in herbivory patterns among arthropod communities, it could be impacting arthropod and plant community structures depending on which species of plants are taking up these antibiotics.
Kathleen A Kargl, Chelse M Prather
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium poster
"Tiny Green Grasshopper Pharmacy: Does Antibiotic Treatment of Buckwheat Grasses Impact Orthopteran Eating Habits?" (2019). Stander Symposium Posters. 1476.