Host selection by the autoparasitoid Encarsia pergandiella on primary (Bemisia tabaci) and secondary (Eretmocerus mundus) hosts
Castañé Fernández, Cristina
Gabarra i Ambert, Rosa
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In autoparasitoids, females are generally primary endoparasitoids of Hemiptera, while males are hyperparasitoids developing in or on conspecific females or other primary parasitoids. Female-host acceptance can be influenced by extrinsic and/or intrinsic factors. In this paper, we are concerned with intrinsic factors such as nutritional status, mating status, etc. We observed the behavior of Encarsia pergandiella Howard (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) females when parasitizing primary (3rd instar larvae of Bemisia tabaci Gennadius [Homoptera: Aleyrodidae]) and secondary hosts (3rd instar larvae and pupae of Eretmocerus mundus Mercet [Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae]) for a period of 1 h. Females had different reproductive (virgin or mated younger) and physiological (fed elder or mated elder) status. Virgin females killed a large number of secondary hosts while investing a long time per host. However, they did not feed upon them. Mated females killed a lower number of secondary hosts and host feeding was observed in both consuming primary and secondary hosts. It was common to observe host examining females of all physiological statues tested repeatedly stinging the same hosts when parasitizing, killing or rejecting them. Fed elder females parasitized more B. tabaci larvae than E. mundus larvae or pupae, while investing less time on the primary host than on the secondary host. They also parasitized more B. tabaci larvae than mated elder females, while investing less time per host. The access of females to honey allowed them to lay more eggs.