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When parasitoids deal with the spatial distribution of their hosts: consequences for both partners.

Authors
  • Louâpre, Philippe1, 2
  • Le Lann, Cécile3
  • Hance, Thierry1
  • 1 Earth and Life Institue, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 2 CNRS, Biogéosciences UMR 6282, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, France. , (France)
  • 3 UMR CNRS 6553 Ecobio, University of Rennes 1, Rennes Cedex, France. , (France)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Insect Science
Publisher
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2019
Volume
26
Issue
5
Pages
923–931
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/1744-7917.12583
PMID: 29488695
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Insect parasitoids developing inside hosts face a true challenge: hosts are scattered in the field and their localization and selection require the use of complex and sometime confusing information. It was assumed for a long time that small-brained organisms like parasitoids have evolved simple and efficient behavioral mechanisms, leading them to be adapted to a given ecological situation, for example, the spatial distribution of hosts in the habitat. However, hosts are not static and their distribution may also vary through generations and within the life of parasitoid individuals. We investigated if and how parasitoids deal with such a spatial complexity in a mesocosm experiment. We used the Aphidius rhopalosiphi/Sitobion avenae parasitoid/host system to investigate if parasitoid females experiencing different host aggregation levels exhibit different foraging behaviors independently of the number of hosts in the environment. We showed that A. rhopalosiphi females exploited hosts more intensively both within and among patches at higher host aggregation levels. We discussed the adaptiveness of such behaviors in the light of evolution and biological control. © 2018 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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