Host Acceptance

Although perhaps not technically part of host-seeking behavior, whether a host can be recognized as such after it has been contacted by a parasitoid is very important for the parasitoid. If a female cannot recognize a host as suitable for her progeny, habitat and host-finding activities would be wasted. Parasitoids have evolved behaviors that enable them to accurately choose suitable hosts. Many detect chemicals in the host cuticle or egg chorion that enable them to differentiate one potential host from another. These they usually detect with their antennae (Hymenoptera) or front tarsi (tachinid flies). Some parasitoids are also able to distinguish between hosts after insertion of the ovipositor by use of sense organs on the egg-laying organ itself. Acceptance of hosts via other sensory modalities, such as touch, sound, or sight, have also been documented. For instance, a Trichogramma wasp female examines a host egg with her antennae to determine its size. The ichneumonid parasitoid Campoletis sonorensis is influenced by host caterpillar shape. A cylindrical shape that approximated the shape of the Heliothis virescens host was more effective in stimulating oviposition than round or flat shapes. The egg—larval parasitoid Chelonus texanus accepts host lepi-dopteran eggs that have a rough or sculptured surface rather than a smooth one. Hairs from the body of gypsy moth larvae are enough to cause examination behavior in the parasitoid C. melanoscela. Movements perceived by sight or through vibrations of the substrate are important cues for a number of different parasitoids.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Bee Keeping

Bee Keeping

Make money with honey How to be a Beekeeper. Beekeeping can be a fascinating hobby or you can turn it into a lucrative business. The choice is yours. You need to know some basics to help you get started. The equipment needed to be a beekeeper. Where can you find the equipment you need? The best location for the hives. You can't just put bees in any spot. What needs to be considered when picking the location for your bees?

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment