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Searching and oviposition behavior of aphidophagous hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae): a review

  • Almohamad, Raki
  • Verheggen, François
  • Haubruge, Eric
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2009
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Aphidophagous hoverflies forage according two different host-finding mechanisms: they forage for suitable food sources (for their energy-expensive hovering flight, and for protein to mature their reproductive system), and for suitable oviposition sites. Syrphids are highly mobile, enabling them to lay eggs over large areas, and to locate aphid colonies earlier in the season than other aphidophaga. The result is that most syrphid eggs tend to be laid close to aphid colonies. The choice of oviposition sites may be crucial for offspring performance because the neonate larvae have limited dispersal ability. Selection of aphid patches should therefore reflect nutritional value, risk of predation and competition pressure. Several factors are known to affect the choice of oviposition site: habitat, host plant, aphid species, aphid availability, semiochemicals, the presence of intra-or interspecific competitors and female age. We review here the available information on these factors in order to understand the mechanisms of decision-making by syrphid females during their egg-laying behavior, a crucial aspect of their effective use in strategies of the biological control of aphids.

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