Advertisement

Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 34–45 | Cite as

Postemergence Experience Affects Sex Ratio Allocation in a Gregarious Insect Parasitoid

  • Amanda J. Lentz
  • Karen M. Kester
Article

Abstract

We tested the hypotheses that postemergence experience with plants (“early adult learning”) modifies sex ratio and clutch size allocations of Cotesia congregata (Say) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a gregarious larval endoparasitoid of Manduca sexta L. (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). Emerging wasps were exposed for 2–3 h to (a) one of two host plants (tomato or tobacco) or no plant, and (b) one of two novel plants (arugula or parsley) or no plant. Each female was permitted a single oviposition in a host offered with one of the two plant species 24 h later. Hosts were reared on laboratory diet before and after parasitization. Wasps exposed to either host plant allocated proportionately more females to hosts offered with the plant species experienced at emergence than wasps with the alternate species, but clutch sizes did not differ. Irrespective of plant species, wasps exposed to novel plants allocated proportionately more females to hosts than wasps without plant experience, and larger clutches to hosts offered with parsley than with arugula. Differential responses to host and novel plants suggest inherent recognition of host foodplants by C. congregata. Results demonstrate a direct effect of learning on reproductive potential.

Keywords

Learning sex ratio theory ovipositional decision-making tritrophic interactions Hymenoptera Braconidae Cotesia congregata (Say) 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank S. Wilkinson and L. Gray for assistance with insect rearing, and M. Fine and B. Brown for comments on the manuscript. This work was funded, in part, by NSF Grant #DBI-9796334 to K.M. Kester and H.R. Royaltey.

References

  1. Barbosa P, Saunders JA, Kemper J, Trumbule R, Olechno J, Martinat P (1986) Plant allelochemicals and insect parasitoids: effects of nicotine on Cotesia congregata (Say) (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) and Hyposoter annulipes (Cresson) (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae). J Chem Ecol 12:1319–1328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barbosa P, Gross P, Kemper J (1991) Influence of plant allelochemicals on the tobacco hornworm and its parasitoid Cotesia congregata. Ecology 72:1567–1575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benrey B, Denno RF (1997) The slow-growth-high-mortality hypothesis: a test using the cabbage butterfly. Ecology 78:987–999Google Scholar
  4. Charnov EL (1982) The theory of sex allocation. Princeton University Press, 355 ppGoogle Scholar
  5. Cortesero AM, Monge JP (1994) Influence of pre-emergence experience on response to host and host plant odours in the larval parasitoid Eupelmus vuilleti. Entomol Exper Appl 72:281–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dukas R, Duan JJ (2000) Fitness consequences of associative learning in a parasitoid wasp. Behav Ecol 11:536–543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fox L, Kester KM, Eisenbach J (1996) Direct and indirect responses of parasitoids to plants: sex ratio, plant quality and herbivore diet breadth. Entomol Exper Appl 80:289–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gandolfi M, Mattiacci L, Dorn S (2003) Preimaginal learning determines adult response to chemical stimuli in a parasitic wasp. Proc Roy Soc Lon Series B-Biol Scien 270:2623–2629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Godfray HCJ (1994) Parasitoids: behavioral and evolutionary ecology. Princeton University Press, pp 99–211, 151–210Google Scholar
  10. Hodges RW (1971) The Moths of America North of Mexico, Fasc. 21, Sphingoidea. E.W. Classey, Middlesex, 158 ppGoogle Scholar
  11. Jensen MK, Kester KM, Kankaare M, Brown BL (2002) Characterization of microsatellite loci in the insect parasitoid, Cotesia congregata (Say). Mol Ecol Notes 2:346–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kester KM (1991) Behavioral and ecological constraints imposed by plants on the insect parasitoid, Cotesia congregata (Say). Ph. D. Dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park, 287 ppGoogle Scholar
  13. Kester KM, Barbosa P (1991a) Postemergence learning in the insect parasitoid, Cotesia congregata (Say). (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). J Insect Behav 4:727–741CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kester KM, Barbosa P (1991b) Behavioral and ecological constraints imposed by plants on insect parasitoids: implications for biological control. Biol Cont 1:94–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kester KM, Barbosa P (1992) Effects of post-emergence experience on searching and landing responses to plants in the insect parasitoid, Cotesia congregata (Say). J Insect Behav 5:301–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kester KM, Barbosa P (1994) Behavioral responses to host foodplants of two populations of the insect parasitoid, Cotesia congregata (Say). Oecologia 99:151–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. King BH (1987) Offspring sex ratios in parasitoid wasps. Quar Rev Biol 62:367–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Morris RJ, Fellowes MDE (2002) Learning and natal host influence host preference, handling time and sex allocation behaviour in a pupal parasitoid. Behav Ecol Socio 51:386–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ode P, Rosenheim J (1998) Sex allocation and the evolutionary transition between solitary and gregarious parasitoid development. Amer Natur 152:757–761CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ott RL (1993) An introduction to statistical methods and data analysis, 4th edn. Wadsworth, Inc., Belmont, pp 181–182Google Scholar
  21. Papaj DR, Prokopy RJ (1989) Ecological and evolutionary aspects of learning in phytophagous insects. Ann Rev Entomol 34:315–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rosenheim JA, Rosen D (1991) Foraging and oviposition decisions in the parasitoid Aphytis lingnanensis: distinguishing the influences of egg load and experience. J Anim Ecol 60:873–893CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. SAS Institute (1990). Statistical analysis systems, version 6.0, SAS Institute, Inc., Cary N.C.Google Scholar
  24. Smith BH (1993) Merging mechanisms and adaptations: an ethological approach to learning and generalization. In: Papaj DR, Lewis AC (eds) Insect learning: ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Chapman and Hall, NY, pp 126–153Google Scholar
  25. Tagawa J, Kitano H (1981) Mating behaviour of the braconid wasp, Apanteles glomeratus L. (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), in the field. Appl Entomol Zool 16:345–350Google Scholar
  26. Thorpe KW, Barbosa P (1986) Effects of consumption of high and low nicotine tobacco by Manduca sexta (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) on survival of gregarious endoparasitoid Cotesia congregata (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). J Chem Ecol 12:1329–1337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tietz HM (1972) An index to the described life histories, early stages and hosts of the macrolepidoptera of the continental United States and Canada. Allyn Museum, Sarasota, 1041 ppGoogle Scholar
  28. Turlings T, Wäckers F, Vet LEM, Lewis WJ, Tumlinson JH (1993) Learning of host-finding cues by hymenopterous parasitoids. In: Papaj D, Lewis AC (eds) Insect learning: ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Chapman and Hall, New York, pp 51–78Google Scholar
  29. Turlings T, Loughrin JH, McCall PJ, Rose USR, Lewis WJ, Tumlinson JH (1995) How caterpillar-damaged plants protect themselves by attracting parasitic wasps. Proc Nat’l Acad Scien USA 92:4169–4174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Vet LEM (1983) Host–habitat location through olfactory cues by Leptopilina calvipes (Hartig) (Hym, Eucolidae), a parasitoid of fungivorous Drosophila—the influence of conditioning. Neth J Zool 33:225–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Vet LEM, Dicke M (1992) Ecology of infochemical use by natural enemies in a tritrophic context. Ann Rev Entomol 3:141–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Vet LEM, Lewis WJ, Papaj DR, van Lenteren JC (1990) A variable-response model for parasitoid foraging behaviour. J Insect Behav 3:471–490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Vinson SB (1976) Host selection by insect parasitoids. Ann Rev Entomol 21:109–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Waage JK (1986) Family planning in parasitoids: adaptive patterns of progeny and sex allocation. In: Waage JK, Greathead D (eds) Insect parasitoids. Academic, London, pp 63–65Google Scholar
  35. Wäckers FL, Lewis WJ (1994) Olfactory and visual learning and their combined influence on host site location by the parasitoid Microplitis croceipes (Cresson) Biol Cont 4:105–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

Personalised recommendations