THE BIOLOGY AND HOST PREFERENCE BEHAVIOR OF APHIDENCYRTUS SP. NEAR INQUISITOR (HOWARD), AN APHID HYPERPARASITOID (HYMENOPTERA: ENCYRTIDAE)

MICHAEL JOHN KANUCK, Fordham University

Abstract

This laboratory study involved the behavior and life cycle of Aphidencyrtus sp. nr. inquisitor and the choice it exhibited when confronted with a choice between live, parasitized aphids containing a 7-day-old Aphidius larva, or mummified aphids containing a 9-day-old Aphidius larva or prepupa.^ The laboratory techniques utilized during this study permitted continuous observation of all stages of development with both live, parasitized aphids and mummified aphids.^ During courtship and mating, the male Aphidencyrtus engages the female in a head to head precoital dance and then alternately taps her antennae with his own. The male then always moves around to the hind end of the female and thrusts his aedeagus into her genital pocket.^ Both live, parasitized aphids and mummified aphids that were exposed to Aphidencyrtus were attacked, and unlike the non-parasitized aphids, did result in progeny. Behavioral patterns exhibited during oviposition included probing on the surface, subsequent drilling through the aphid exoskeleton, and sometimes host feeding. However, there was never any evidence of host paralysis. During oviposition, the female Aphidencyrtus deposits the egg into the Aphidius host, where it will function initially as an endoparasitoid. On the 9th day of development, the third instar larva changes from its endoparasitoid existence, emerges, and, now as an ectoparasitoid, feeds off the exterior of the Aphidius larval host for approximately 48 hours. Aphidencyrtus sp. nr. inquisitor required 21-23 days to develop from egg to adult in both live, parasitized aphids and mummified aphids.^ When Aphidencyrtus sp. nr. inquisitor was given a choice in 350 replicates for host preference, 18% chose the live, parasitized aphid while 82% preferred the mummified aphid. The sex ratio of laboratory reared Aphidencyrtus was 55.5% females and 44.5% males. ^

Subject Area

Entomology

Recommended Citation

KANUCK, MICHAEL JOHN, "THE BIOLOGY AND HOST PREFERENCE BEHAVIOR OF APHIDENCYRTUS SP. NEAR INQUISITOR (HOWARD), AN APHID HYPERPARASITOID (HYMENOPTERA: ENCYRTIDAE)" (1981). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8123550.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8123550

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