Metaphycus luteolus Timberlake (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) is a facultatively gregarious parasitoid of soft scale insects. We conducted behavioral experiments to better understand the mating structure of this species. Emergence of male and female offspring is synchronized, beginning at the onset of photoperiod. Both sexes are able to disperse, although dispersal of males from natal patches appears to take longer than dispersal of females. We demonstrated the presence of a female-produced contact pheromone using open arena bioassays and motion tracking software, testing residues deposited by walking females, and extracts of females. Males responded to the females' chemical footprints' and to acetone and hexane extracts of females by searching and arrestment on the chemical residues. Responses of males were dose dependent and diminished with time since the stimulus was deposited. Our findings support the hypothesis that non-local mating among wasps emerging from different hosts may be quite common in these parasitoids. The implications of our results for the mating structure and previously documented sex ratio patterns of these parasitoids are described.
|Numero di pagine||10|
|Rivista||Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2013|
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