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Galls as a Disputed Resource for Female Parasitoid Wasps Contests

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DOI: 10.4236/ae.2015.33010    3,491 Downloads   3,914 Views  

ABSTRACT

We investigated how the parasitoid Torymus sp. (Hymenoptera: Torymidae) attacking galls of Schismatodiplosis lantanae (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) on Lantana camara (Verbenaceae) behaves in the presence of a conspecific female competitor in the patch. Presence of a competitor greatly changed resident exploitation behavior. Wasps alone spent more time in gall exploitation behaviors (walk-antennate and probe) and in post-oviposition behaviors (stationary and groom), and when intruders were present they spent more time walking. The attack strategy was through threatening: raising wings and pointing the antennae towards the opponent. Different from theoretical expectations, residents were not always the attacker. Number of galls in the patch and female wasp size did not affect contest outcomes, although gall exploitation time and time on leaf were significant factors for the probability of having attacks. Overall, the study highlights the fact that intruder interest in the host was the main cause of contests and also this is a unique report both in terms of the target species and the nature of the disputed resource, a gall-inducer inside a singular spatial unit, the gall.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Dell’Aglio, D. and Mendonça Jr., M. (2015) Galls as a Disputed Resource for Female Parasitoid Wasps Contests. Advances in Entomology, 3, 86-93. doi: 10.4236/ae.2015.33010.

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