Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 279–293 | Cite as

Patch Time Allocation by the Parasitoid Diadegma semiclausum (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). I. Effect of Interpatch Distance



We observed the foraging behavior of Diadegma semiclausum (Hymenoptera:Ichneumonidae), a larval parasitoid of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), in a wind tunnel to determine how interpatch distance affects patch time allocation. Individual female wasps were released onto an experimental patch infested with host larvae and were allowed freely to leave for an identically extrapatch placed upwind of the experimental patch with varying interpatch distances. The effects of interpatch distance and within-patch foraging experience on the patch-leaving tendency of the parasitoid were analyzed bymeans of the proportional hazards model. Increasing interpatch distance andunsuccessful host encounter as a result of host defense decreased the patch-leaving tendency, while successful oviposition and unsuccessful search time since last oviposition increased the patch-leaving tendency. Asa result, both patch residence time and number of ovipositions by D. semiclausum increased with increasing interpatch distance, which appears to agree with the general predictions of the marginal value theorem that a parasitoid should stay longer and parasitize more hosts with increasing interpatch distance.

Diadegma semiclausum interpatch distance marginal value theorem patch time allocation Plutella xylostella proportional hazards model 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied and Molecular EcologyUniversity of Adelaide, Waite CampusGlen OsmondAustralia

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