Body size and fitness relation in male and female Diaeretiella rapae
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A strong relationship exists between body size and fitness in parasitoids. However, it is unclear whether the relationship is symmetric or asymmetric in males and females. The present study investigated the body size and fitness relationship in Diaeretiella rapae emerged from small and large nymphs of cabbage aphid Brevicoryne brassicae. A positive relationship existed between the size of the aphid host and growth of parasitoid larva developing in it. The fitness gain in males and females was not proportionate to their body size gain. Females mated with larger males produced 10 % more female offspring than females mated with smaller males. However, females that developed in large hosts produced 62 % more offspring (total male and female) than the females emerged from smaller hosts. The findings suggest that the number of offspring and the progeny sex ratio were affected by the body size of both male and female D. rapae.
KeywordsDiaeretiella rapae Parasitoid Body size Resource allocation Sex ratio Fitness
The research project was supported by a Massey University Doctoral Research Scholarship and Helen E. Akers PhD Scholarship to Rashmi Kant. We thank Dr. Mariana Bulgarella, Massey University and two anonymous referees for their suggestions on improving this manuscript.
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