Some insects forage randomly, eventually (at some risk) discovering suitable resources (Dixon 1985, Raffa et al. 1993). However, most insects respond to various cues that indicate the suitability of potential resources. The cues to which searching insects respond may differ among stages in the search process. For example, gross cues, indicative of certain habitats, might initially guide insects to a potentially suitable location. They then respond to cues that indicate suitable patches of resources and finally focus on cues characteristic of the necessary resources (Bell 1990, Mustaparta 1984). Experience at the habitat scale can affect search at finer scales. Insects search longer in patches where suitable resources have been detected than in patches without suitable resources, resulting in gradual increase in population density on hosts (Bell 1990, Risch 1980, 1981, Root 1973,Turchin 1988). Orientation toward cues involves the following steps.

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