Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 589–606 | Cite as

Marking Behavior and Discrimination of Concealed Hosts by the Ectoparasitoid, Dinarmus basalis Rond. (Hym. Pteromalidae)

  • N. Gauthier
  • F. Bénédet
  • Y. Tricault
  • J. P. Monge
  • J. Huignard


The parasitoid species, Dinarmus basalis, attacks bruchid beetle larvae concealed within hard seeds. Female wasps are able to discriminate the quality of their host but the position in the concealed host system where this discrimination takes place remains unclear. Under laboratory conditions, we investigated whether the cues were detectable: (1) at a medium or short distance from the seed, (2) on the seed, or (3) within the seed, at the point of contact with the host. In particular, we investigated whether internal or external markings are applied by the parasitoid and then recognized in a subsequent encounter or by a conspecific encountering the host. Detailed behavioral observations did not provide evidence of markings being applied onto the seed or used, but showed that host discrimination occurred on the basis of internal cues. The lack of evidence of external markings is unexpected and raises the question as to which circumstances in the parasitoid's ecology and life history could result in such a lack not causing a reduction of fitness.

parasitoid concealed host system intraspecific host discrimination marking behavior 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Gauthier
    • 1
  • F. Bénédet
    • 2
  • Y. Tricault
    • 2
  • J. P. Monge
    • 2
  • J. Huignard
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre de Biologie et de Gestion des PopulationsCampus International de BaillarguetSt Gély du FescFrance
  2. 2.Institute de Recherche sur la Biologie de l'Insecte, UPRESA-CNRS 6035, Parc GrandmontFaculté des SciencesToursFrance

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