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Differences in the rates of superparasitism between two strains of Comperiella bifasciata (Howard) (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) parasitizing California red scale (Homoptera: Diaspididae): an adaptation to circumvent encapsulation?



Differences in the rates of superparasitism between two strains of Comperiella bifasciata (Howard) (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) parasitizing California red scale (Homoptera: Diaspididae): an adaptation to circumvent encapsulation?



Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 833: 591-597



Encapsulation rates by the California red scale, Aonidiella aurantii (Maskell), of the eggs and larvae of two strains of the solitary endoparasitoid, Comperiella bifasciata (Howard), were compared. One strain, from the San Joaquin Valley of California (USA), was poorly adapted to California red scale; the other strain, from Israel, was well adapted to the scale. Eggs of the California strain, when laid singly, were encapsulated four times more frequently than those of the Israeli strain (28 versus 6%), while the frequency of partially encapsulated larvae was similar in both strains. The California strain laid multiple eggs during the initial host visit more often than the Israeli strain (18 versus 6%). Multiple eggs were less likely to be encapsulated than solitary eggs only in the California strain, thus superparasitism may also be an adaptation to the higher encapsulation rates encountered by the solitary eggs of the California strain, as well as adaptation to limited host resources. The higher encapsulation rate of solitary eggs in the California wasps is consistent with the hybridization hypothesis implied by the laboratory work of Flanders (1944) and Teran and DeBach (1963).

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Accession: 002072378

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DOI: 10.1093/aesa/83.3.591


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