Ecological Entomology (2018) 43, 137-145

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Ruth Cebolla, Pablo Bru, Alberto Urbaneja and Alejandro Tena (2018)
Effect of host instar on host discrimination of heterospecific-parasitised hosts by sympatric parasitoids
Ecological Entomology 43 (2), 137-145
Abstract: 1. Interspecific competition among hymenopteran parasitoids may shape their behavioural strategies for host resource exploitation. In order to reduce or prevent competition, many parasitoid species have evolved the ability to discriminate between unparasitised hosts and hosts parasitised by another parasitoid species (i.e. heterospecific host discrimination). However, discriminatory ability might be affected by host instar.
2. This study reports the first results on whether host instar can influence the use of heterospecific-parasitised hosts by sympatric parasitoids of the genus Aphytis (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae).
3. Aphytis melinus and Aphytis chrysomphali discriminated between unparasitised and heterospecific-parasitised hosts when they found a third-instar host (high quality), with a tendency to multi-parasitise. However, this discrimination was not observed in the second instar (lower size).
4. The behavioural strategies adopted towards multi-parasitise third-instar hosts varied between both species. Aphytis chrysomphali reduced its clutch size in heterospecific-parasitised hosts, whereas A. melinus tended to probe them for longer than healthy hosts.
5. Overall, our results highlight the importance of host instar in the study of intrinsic competition between parasitoids.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Alejandro Tena, Alberto Urbaneja

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Aphytis melinus (parasitoid)
Aphytis chrysomphali (parasitoid)