Chemical Ecology of Insects 2

pp 65-101

Parasitoid Foraging and Learning

  • Louise E. M. VetAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, Wageningen Agricultural University
  • , W. Joe LewisAffiliated withAgricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture
  • , Ring T. CardéAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, University of Massachusetts

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The diminutive size of most parasitoids undoubtedly has limited their choice as subjects for behavioral study, despite their great diversity in lifestyles and reproductive strategies. The present chapter addresses their foraging behavior as influenced by learning. Most of their adult life female parasitoids search for host insects which, in turn, are under selection to avoid being found and devoured. This scenario sets the stage for the evolution of diverse hide-and-seek games played by parasitoids and their victims, most often herbivores. That parasitoids are successful in their quest for hosts is evidenced by the vast number of parasitoid species and their importance in insect management.