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The Response Specificity of Trichogramma Egg Parasitoids towards Infochemicals during Host Location

Parasitoids are confronted with many different infochemicals of their hosts and food plants during host selection. Here, we investigated the effect of kairomones from the adult host Pieris brassicae and of cues present on Brussels sprout plants infested by P. brassicae eggs on the behavioral response of the egg parasitoid Trichogramma evanescens. Additionally, we tested whether the parasitoid’s acceptance of P. brassicae eggs changes with different host ages. The wasps did not discriminate between olfactory cues from mated and virgin females or between mated females and males of P. brassicae. T. evanescens randomly climbed on the butterflies, showing a phoretic behavior without any preference for a certain sex. The parasitoid was arrested on leaf parts next to 1-day-old host egg masses. This arrestment might be due to cues deposited during oviposition. The wasps parasitized host eggs up to 3 days old equally well. Our results were compared with former studies on responses by T .brassicae showing that T. evanescens makes less use of infochemicals from P. brassicae than T. brassicae.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The authors thank Katja Hoedjes and Linda Tiggelman for their help with some of the experiments, Martinus E. Huigens for comments on a previous version of the manuscript, Leo Koopman, Frans van Aggelen, and André Gidding for culturing the insects, and the experimental farm of Wageningen University (Unifarm) for breeding and providing the Brussels sprout plants. The study was financially supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Hi 416/15–1, 2).

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Correspondence to Monika Hilker.

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Fatouros, N.E., Bukovinszkine’Kiss, G., Dicke, M. et al. The Response Specificity of Trichogramma Egg Parasitoids towards Infochemicals during Host Location. J Insect Behav 20, 53 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10905-006-9062-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10905-006-9062-z

KEY WORDS

  • host finding
  • oviposition-induced plant synomone
  • phoresy
  • Brussels sprout plants
  • Pieris brassicae