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Inter- and intraspecific interactions among larvae of specialist and generalist parasitoids

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Researches on Population Ecology

Abstract

Intra- and interspecific larval interactions that take place in a host body were investigated for two tachnid fliesEpicampocera succincta andCompsilura concinnata (Diptera: Tachinidae) parasitizingPieris butterfly larvae.E. succincta, a specialist onPieris butterflies, showed contest-type intraspecific competition, eliminating all the other conspecific larvae. On the other hand, an extreme generalist parasitoidC. concinnata exhibited scramble-type competition, sharing the host with other conspecifics and suffering reduced body size as a result. However, when these two species occurred together in a single host,C. concinnata had a much higher chance of survival. Moreover,C. concinnata could often survive in the presence of a parasitoid waspCotesia glomerata (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) whileE. succincta could not. The high tolerance ofC. concinnata could be attributable to its being an extreme generalist: To attack and survive on many different hosts, one has to be able to deal with various competitors. The competitive inferiority of the specialistE. succincta, on the other hand, may be a result of relatively recent encounter with, those competitors.

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Iwao, K., Ohsaki, N. Inter- and intraspecific interactions among larvae of specialist and generalist parasitoids. Res Popul Ecol 38, 265–273 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02515736

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