Effects of host age and host availability on developmental period, adult size, sex ratio, longevity and fecundity inLariophagus distinguendusFörster (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae)
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The effects of host age on parasitoid reproductive capacity are studied using the pteromalid parasitoidLariophagus distinguendusFörster and its bruchid hosts,Callosobruchus chinensis (L.) andC. maculatus (F.). A series of experiments were performed to investigate relationships between age and size of host parasitized and the developmental period of pre-imaginal progeny, sex ratio, female size, longevity, fecundity and oviposition rate. There was no effect of host size on preimaginal parasitoid developmental period. Sex ratio varied from less than 5% females from young (small) hosts to 60% females from mature (large) hosts. Adult size, female longevity, fecundity, and oviposition rate were also positively related to host age. Females provided mature hosts lived longer than those provided either young hosts or no hosts, possibly because of an increased ability to host-feed from the larger hosts. The implications of these findings to parasitoid population reproductive capacity and host-parasitoid synchrony are discussed.
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