Journal of Insect Science (2003) 3 (33), p. 8 (Faria et al.)

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Cristina Faria, Felix Wackers and Ted C.J. Turlings (2003)
Nutritional quality of aphid-produced honeydew for non-aphid parasitoids
Journal of Insect Science 3 (33), 8-8
XIII International Entomophagous Insects Workshop - July 27-31, 2003, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.
Abstract: Aphid-produced honeydew might be an alternative food source of fundamental importance for adult parasitoids in the context of biological control. Honeydew is likely to be particularly important in crops where nectar is not available, and is expected to increase longevity and fecundity, as well as attraction and retention of adult parasitoids in a target area. We studied the importance of honeydew produced by the aphid Rhopalosiphum maidis for the longevity of the solitary larval endoparasitoids Cotesia marginiventris, Campoletis sonorensis, and Microplitis rufiventris, natural enemies of important lepidopteran pests. Honeydew-fed females of all three species lived longer than females provided only with water, but significantly shorter than females that were fed with sucrose. When investigating the effect of honeydew feeding on the parasitism rate of C. marginiventris over eight days we found that honeydew-fed females parasitized significantly more caterpillars than non-fed females. Further experiments demonstrated that C. marginiventris is able to learn honeydew associated odours. Females that had 2X 15seconds feeding experience with honeydew on aphid-infested barley were more attracted to odours of such plants compared to naïve females and females that had experience with the odour of infested plants only. The results show that aphid-produced honeydew has the potential to serve as a food source for parasitoids and increases longevity and fecundity. Furthermore, parasitoids can learn to respond to honeydew associated odours, which should increase their foraging efficiency.
Database assignments for author(s): Felix L. Wäckers, Ted C.J. Turlings

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
environment - cropping system/rotation
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
environment/habitat manipulation
general biology - morphology - evolution


Pest and/or beneficial records:

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


Rhopalosiphum maidis
Campoletis sonorensis (parasitoid)
Cotesia marginiventris (parasitoid)
Microplitis rufiventris (parasitoid)