How could host discrimination abilities influence the structure of a parasitoid community?

Abstract : Three related Aphidius parasitoid species share the same host, the grain aphid Sitobion avenae. Among this parasitoid community, Aphidius rhopalosiphi is the most abundant species in the field. Both the interspecific host discrimination of A. rhopalosiphi towards hosts parasitized by the two other species (i.e. A. avenae and A. ervi) and the interspecific host discrimination of the two other species towards hosts parasitized by A. rhopalosiphi were studied here. Results showed that females of A. rhopalosiphi and A. avenae both discriminated between unparasitized hosts and hosts parasitized by the other species. This discrimination occurred only after ovipositor insertion, suggesting the perception of an internal marker of parasitism. Likewise, females of A. rhopalosiphi and A. ervi were able to discriminate between unparasitized hosts and hosts parasitized by the other species. However, in this combination of species, recognition of parasitized hosts occurred before ovipositor insertion, through an antennal perception, suggesting the presence an external cue indicating parasitism. Hence, interspecific host discrimination in the three Aphidius species is based on internal or external cues, which are used either alone or together. Our results showed that the cues used for interspecific host discrimination depend on the specific identity of the interaction. These differences seemed strongly linked to the way the different species respond to defensive behaviours of their aphid hosts. Results are discussed in the context of optimal foraging and possible consequences for community structure.
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Contributor : Valerie Briand <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 6:05:50 PM
Last modification on : Monday, April 29, 2019 - 2:30:47 PM

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Joan Van Baaren, Cécile Le Lann, J. Pichenot, Jean-Sébastien Pierre, Liliane Krespi, et al.. How could host discrimination abilities influence the structure of a parasitoid community?. Bulletin of Entomological Research, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2009, 99 (3), pp.299-306. ⟨10.1017/S0007485308006342⟩. ⟨hal-00419450⟩

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