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Superparasitism and host descrimination by Asobara tabida Nees (Braconidae: Alysiinae), a larval parasitoid of Drosophilidae



Superparasitism and host descrimination by Asobara tabida Nees (Braconidae: Alysiinae), a larval parasitoid of Drosophilidae



Netherlands Journal of Zoology, 322: 232-260



Superparasitism and host discrimination by A. tabida Nees were studied. A. tabida females distinguish unparasitized hosts from those previously parasitized by themselves or by a conspecific. There is no evidence that A. tabida females are able to distinguish hosts in which they laid an egg themselves from hosts parasitized by conspecifics. A. tabida females, unlike those of Leptopilina heterotoma, cannot discriminate between hosts with different numbers of eggs. Superparasitism may occur because of the following: inexperienced females of A. tabida may initially lay 2 eggs during 1 oviposition; a female A. tabida may re-attack a host after oviposition within the period needed for building up the factor which causes avoidance of superparasitism; the restraint to oviposit in parasitized hosts breaks down when a female only meets parasitized hosts and does not lay eggs during a period of at least 8 h; females that have never oviposited in unparasitized hosts do not refrain from oviposition in parasitized hosts. Whether superparasitism by insect parasitoids can be adaptive under particular circumstances is discussed.

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Accession: 021832897

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