Behavioural mechanisms

There are a number of behavioural mechanisms that insects could employ to reduce their probability of becoming exposed to parasites and pathogens, and to ameliorate their effects should they become infected. These include: mate selection (to avoid parasites that are transmitted by potential sexual partners); selective diet choice (to avoid ingesting parasites); avoiding or dispersing from areas of high infection risk; social behaviours and group-living (to take advantage of 'dilution effects'); self-grooming and reciprocal allogrooming (e.g. to remove fungal spores or ectoparasites); behavioural fever and chills (i.e. altering body temperature to reduce parasite fitness and/or to increase immune function efficacy); and oral self-medication (i.e. ingesting nutrients that enhance physiological/immunological resistance mechanisms). Some of these behavioural mechanisms are reviewed here.

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