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Host finding and discrimination in Diglyphus isaea, a parasitoid of the chrysanthemum leaf miner, Chromatomyia syngenesiae

Cheah, C.A., Coaker, T.H.
Biocontrol science and technology 1992 v.2 no.2 pp. 109-118
biological control agents, host seeking, insect control, parasites
Naive and experienced Diglyphus isaea were attracted by host plant odors of lettuce and chrysanthemum to search and probe on infested and uninfested leaves. A slight preference was shown for leaves infested with Chromatomyia syngenesiae. At close range, visual stimuli were unnecessary for oviposition and host-feeding. Contact with uninfested lettuce and chrysanthemum elicited searching and probing behaviour whereas host frass did not. Host larval movement appeared to aid host detection at close range. The number of ovipositor probes increased with proximity to live hosts but not for stationary, dead hosts. Dead hosts were frequently walked over or missed when D. isaea passed within 0.5 cm of the stationary larvae. Dead hosts were also rejected for oviposition but not for host feeding. Both naive and experienced females discriminated between healthy hosts and those which had been attacked by conspecifics or encountered previously.