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Differential parasitism of Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) larvae by the parasitoid Cotesia plutellae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) on two host plant species



Differential parasitism of Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) larvae by the parasitoid Cotesia plutellae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) on two host plant species



Bulletin of Entomological Research 93(1): 65-72



Laboratory experiments were conducted to examine host selection by Cotesia plutellae Kurdjumov when larvae of its host, Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus), fed on Chinese cabbage, Brassica campestris L. ssp. pekinensis and those fed on common cabbage, Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata were provided simultaneously, and to investigate the roles of plant and host volatiles in mediating host selection. When C. plutellae were provided with equal numbers of host larvae on plants of the two species in one arena, the parasitoid parasitized 4- to 15-fold more host larvae on Chinese cabbage than on common cabbage. This preference changed little with host density. However, an experience of searching coupled with an oviposition in a host larva on a leaf of the less-preferred plant, common cabbage, significantly increased the preference for parasitizing host larvae on this plant and resulted in twice as many host larvae parasitized on this plant than on Chinese cabbage. Dual choice tests with a Y-tube olfactometer showed that plant volatiles from Chinese cabbage were more attractive to female C. plutellae than those from common cabbage when plants of both species were either intact or infested. In parallel to the increased parasitism on common cabbage following experience, oviposition in a host larva on this less-preferred plant significantly increased the response to volatiles emanating from that plant. These results indicate that host plants may strongly influence the foraging behaviour of C. plutellae, but their differential attractiveness to the parasitoid may be altered by experience of the parasitoid.

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Accession: 003713682

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 12593684

DOI: 10.1079/ber2002208


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