Modification, by the Insecticide Chlorpyrifos, of the Behavioral Response to Kairomones of a Parasitoid Wasp, Leptopilina boulardi
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Parasitoids are key species involved in the regulation of natural populations. Host parasitization is realized via some important steps in which kairomone perception is essential. Due to the wide use of insecticides and their contribution to environmental pollution, the determination of their sublethal effects on behaviors involved in the reproduction of parasitoids becomes a necessity. In this work, we analyzed the effects of a lethal dose 20% of chlorpyrifos, an organophosphorus insecticide, on the behavior of L. boulardi toward the kairomone of its host. The insecticide significantly modified the kinetics of the residence time of parasitoids on a patch marked by kairomones. Females exposed to the insecticide were less efficient in finding the kairomone patch than control females, and they tended to stay on that patch, whereas control females rapidly left it. These effects are discussed considering the mode of action of the insecticide. Because search time allocation of host is an important component for parasitism efficiency, this modification of behavior could interfere with the reproduction capacity of parasitoids. Therefore, in a context of environmental pollution, the repercussions of such sublethal effects on the population biology of insects need to be considered.
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