Influence of the condition of prey offered at the beginning of the cycle on the evocation of the paralyzing phase in the ammophile podalonia hirsuta solitary wasp predatory upon noctuidae caterpillars
Truc, C.; Gervet, J.
Biology of Behaviour 9(1): 35-58
Stinging of prey (Noctuidae caterpillars) by P. hirsuta Scopoli digger wasps consists of 2 successive events called attacks (which correspond to different stinging patterns). A type 1 attack paralyzes the head and thorax of the caterpillar: a type 2 attack is inflicted on the abdomen. Systematic presentation of already paralyzed prey brought about a change in the order of occurrence of these 2 types of attack. The 1st attack of the prey-stinging phase was equally likely to be of type 1 or 2. The existence of cycles of form I (beginning with a type 1 attack) and form II (beginning with a type 2 attack) is pointed out: in these cycles, modifications were found that appear to correlate well with the type of the very 1st attack observed. Form II cycles do not appear right at the beginning of the nesting season of individual wasps but only emerge gradually. The results are interpreted in terms of 3 groups of instructions concerning action, transition and development which interact dynamically to shape the behavior.