Trissolcus egg parasitoids, when perceiving the chemical footprints left on a substrate by pentatomid host bugs, adopt a motivated searching behaviour characterized by longer searching time on patches were signals are present. Once in contact with host chemical footprints, Trissolcus wasps search longer on traces left by associated hosts rather than non-associated species, and, in the former case, they search longer on traces left by females than males. Based on these evidences, we hypothesized that only associated hosts induce the ability to discriminate host sex in wasps. To test this hypothesis we investigated the ability of Trissolcus basalis, T. brochymenae, and Trissolcus sp. to distinguish female from male Nezara viridula, Murgantia histrionica, and Graphosoma semipunctatum footprints. These three pentatomid bugs were selected according to variable association levels. Bioassays were conducted on filter paper sheets, and on Brassica oleracea (broccoli) leaves. The results confirmed our hypothesis showing that wasps spent significantly more time on female rather than male traces left by associated hosts on both substrates. No differences were observed in the presence of traces left by non-associated hosts. The ecological consequences for parasitoid host location behaviour are discussed.
|Numero di pagine||7|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2013|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)