Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 501–510 | Cite as

Host Handling Time in a Polyembryonic Wasp is Affected both by Previous Experience and by Host State (Parasitized or Not)

  • Michal SegoliEmail author
  • Ally R. Harari
  • Amos Bouskila
  • Tamar Keasar


Foraging behavior for hosts in parasitoids resembles that of predators with respect to finding, evaluating and manipulating of the prey. Host handling time may depend on the life history of the parasitoid and can be affected by oviposition experience. Additionally, handling time can be affected by host aggregation, species, size and state (parasitized or not). We studied handling times in the egg-larval parasitoid wasp Copidosoma koehleri. We allowed naïve female wasps to oviposit into three consecutive unparasitized hosts, and measured time until oviposition, and the duration of ovipositor insertion. We recorded the same data for naïve females ovipositing into already parasitized hosts. We found that both previous experience by females and previous parasitism of hosts reduced handling time. The results suggest that host handling durations reflect the interplay between host state and parasitoid internal state.


Host handling parasitoids experience superparasitism Copidosoma koehleri 



We thank Ori Becher, Sara Baranes, Adi Sadeh, and Daphna Gottlieb for assistance and discussions. This research was supported by THE ISRAEL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (grant No. 184/06)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michal Segoli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ally R. Harari
    • 1
    • 2
  • Amos Bouskila
    • 1
  • Tamar Keasar
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Life SciencesBen-Gurion UniversityBeer-ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Entomology, Agricultural Research OrganizationThe Volcani CenterBet DaganIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Science Education – BiologyUniversity of HaifaOranimIsrael
  4. 4.Department of Life SciencesAchva CollegeShikmimIsrael

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