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Host selection by asobara tabida braconidae alysiinae a larval parasitoid of fruit inhabiting drosophila species 1. host stage selection with drosophila melanogaster as host species



Host selection by asobara tabida braconidae alysiinae a larval parasitoid of fruit inhabiting drosophila species 1. host stage selection with drosophila melanogaster as host species



Netherlands Journal of Zoology 32(2): 215-231



Host selection behavior of A. tabida was studied when it had the choice between different age classes of D. melanogaster larvae. A. tabida attacked early 2nd instars (24 h at 25.degree. C) with more success than early 3rd and late 3rd instars (respectively, 48 h and 72 h at 25.degree. C). The 3rd instars often escaped parasitization because the parasitoid failed to pierce their thick skin with its ovipositor, or because they frightened off the parasitoid by vigorous wriggling. The main mortality factor of A. tabida eggs in D. melanogaster larvae was encapsulation by blood cells of the host. The proportion of encapsulated A. tabida eggs increased with the age of the larvae at the moment of parasitization. The highest percentage of parasitism was found in early 2nd instars, the stage that represents the best survival probability. A. tabida rejected a substantial proportion of larvae after piercing them with its ovipositor. This probably happens because D. melanogaster, which is an alien species in western Europe, is not the preferred host species of A. tabida.

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Accession: 005588795

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