, Volume 106, Issue 3, pp 317-324

Relative movement patterns of a tephritid fly and its parasitoid wasps

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The extent of within-patch dispersal by a tephritid fly and its four major parasitoids was examined over three field seasons. Hosts and parasitoids were marked using acrylic paint and observed as they oviposited into the flowerheads of marsh thistle, Cirsium palustre. The average recapture rate pooled across all species was 22%. The four parasitoids showed consistently greater rates of movement than the host in all three years. In nearly all comparisons, male dispersal was less than female dispersal. There was no evidence that parasitoids moved longer distances after visiting low quality rather than high quality patches. In the one season it was studied, no correlations between movement and insect size were observed. The relevance of these observations to host-parasitoid population dynamics is discussed.