Effect of host kairomones and oviposition experience on the arrestment behavior of an egg parasitoid

Stefano Colazza, Ezio Peri, Eric Wajnberg

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55 Citations (Scopus)


Chemical residues left by walking adults of the southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula (L.) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) induce arrestment behavior in the egg parasitoid Trissolcus basalis (Wollaston) (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) leading to prolonged periods of walking on contaminated areas and to systematic return to the stimulus after encountering the treatment borders. In this study, we quantified how the hierarchical value of residues from host adults and oviposition experience can influence the arrestment behavior of T. basalis females. Our results showed that: (1) female wasps perceived host residues at different hierarchical levels depending on the host gender, with a clear preference for the chemical residues deposited by host females rather then host males; (2) wasps' arrestment response to chemical residues of host females became weaker when wasps were not rewarded by an oviposition experience, and stronger following successful oviposition; (3) repeated encounters with host male chemical residues, followed or not by oviposition experience, did not cause wasps to change their innate arrestment response; (4) in the unrewarded condition, arrestment responses of wasps varied according to the time elapsed between successive visits to areas contaminated by host females: responses were weak with a short interval (less than 24 h) and stronger with a long interval (more than 72 h), suggesting that this unrewarded experience, i.e. encounter with female traces not followed by host egg location, fade within a few hours. The potential significance of these results to the host location behavior of T. basalis in the field is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3629-3635
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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