, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 1505-1515

Cotesia glomerata Female Wasps Use Fatty Acids from Plant–Herbivore Complex in Host Searching

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Abstract

Cotesia glomerata parasitizes early instars of the cabbage butterfly,Pieris rapae, in Japan. Female wasps antennatedRorippa indica leaves damaged by feeding ofP. rapae larva, but ignored artificially damaged leaves. Females also antennated filter paper containingR. indica leaf juice plusP. rapae regurgitant. Chemical analysis revealed five compounds in higher amounts in the infested edges of leaves than in artificially damaged edges. Among them, we identified palmitic acid, oleic acid, and stearic acid. Female wasps antennated filter paper containing each of these three acids. We discuss the function of these acids in the tritrophic context.