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Resource utilization and sex allocation in response to host size in two ectoparasitoid wasps on subcortical beetles

Urano, T., Hijii, N.
Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 1995 v.74 no.1 pp. 23-35
Coleoptera, Pinus, Spathius, bark, body weight, dead wood, hosts, males, ovipositor, parasitic wasps, parasitism, sex allocation, sex ratio, surveys, wasps
Patterns of host resource utilization and sex ratio manipulation in relation to host size were investigated for two solitary ectoparasitoid wasps, Atanycolus initiator and Spathius brevicaudis (Hymenoptera Braconidae). Both species parasitize subcortical beetles on the trunks of Japanese pine trees. A. initiator is on average 8 times larger in body weight and has an ovipositor that is 3.7 times longer than that of S. brevicaudis. In both parasitoids, the size of emerging wasps was positively correlated with host size, but the host/wasp size regressions were linear for all three major host species in A. initiator, whereas in S. brevicaudis the regression was logarithmic for a relatively large host species. The sex ratios (proportion of males) of both parasitoids emerging from different host species decreased with increasing host size, but the overall sex ratio on each host species was male-biased in A. initiator, while female-biased in S. brevicaudis. How the proportion of host consumed changed in response to host size, differed between the two parasitoids for the same host species. In the field survey, the size and sex ratio of the emerging two parasitoids from a dead tree were closely related to host size. However, the spatial distribution of the two parasitoids depended on the bark thickness of the trunk. The data suggest that differences in the relative evaluation of host size and in ovipositor length may enable the coexistence of the two parasitoid wasps.