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Effect of different dietary resources on longevity, carbohydrate metabolism, and ovarian dynamics in two fruit fly parasitoids

Abstract

A growing body of literature reports the importance of non-prey food sources in boosting fitness of arthropod natural enemies, thus further contributing to their pest control efficacy. Although resources such as nectar, pollen, or honeydew have received a fair amount of research attention, little is known about the role of fruit juices. Under natural conditions, Tephritid fruit fly parasitoids enjoy ample access to fallen or damaged fruits and their saccharide-rich juices, and wasp fitness can potentially benefit in multiple ways from access to these resources. In this study, we compared the effect of fruit juice with other food resources on multiple fitness parameters in parasitoids that commonly forage on fallen, damaged fruits: the braconid Diachasmimorpha longicaudata and figitid Aganaspis pelleranoi. Parasitoids were subject to simple or combined diets of guava juice (Psidium guajava), honey and pollen, and their effect on wasp longevity, ovarian dynamics and (body) carbohydrate levels was assessed. For both species, adult longevity proved lowest on simple diets of water, guava juice, or pollen, while greatest longevity was attained on honey or combined diets. For D. longicaudata, egg load did not differ between the various diets, while A. pelleranoi egg load was higher for individuals that had access to honey or pollen, but did not differ between newly emerged wasps and those fed guava juice. In both parasitoid species, total sugars, fructose, and glycogen levels were highest in wasps fed with honey or combined diets and lowest under (simple) guava juice, pollen, or water diets. In conclusion, D. longicaudata and A. pelleranoi attained superior longevity and body nutrient levels with access to high-sucrose sugar sources, such as honey, but benefited comparatively little from access to guava juice. Our work hints the role of high-sucrose foods such as (extra-) floral nectar or artifical sugar sprays in boosting fitness of fruit fly parasitoids. We further discuss the relevance of these findings for fruit fly biological control, in crops such as guava.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank Luz Stella Fuentes, Luis Alejandro Arias, Francisco López, Lina María Márquez, Carolina González and Sandra Herrera at the Centro de BioSistemas, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano. We are also grateful to George Heimpel at the University of Minnesota, José Rengifo at the ICA Quarantine Treatment Laboratory, Armando Osorio at the Universidad del Tolima and Nubia Moreno at the Biotechnology Institute, Universidad Nacional de Colombia. In Mexico, Jose Manuel Gutíerrez Ruelas and Pablo Montoya facilitated shipments of biological material. This research was financed by the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, with project grant MADR 2008L6772-3445 to KW.

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Correspondence to Kris A. G. Wyckhuys.

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Narváez, A., Cancino, J., Daza, N.C. et al. Effect of different dietary resources on longevity, carbohydrate metabolism, and ovarian dynamics in two fruit fly parasitoids. Arthropod-Plant Interactions 6, 361–374 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11829-012-9188-1

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Keywords

  • Biological control
  • Fruit fly parasitoids
  • Nutritional physiology
  • Fitness
  • Longevity
  • Sugar levels
  • Egg load