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Tritrophic interactions among coumarin, the herbivore Spodoptera litura and a gregarious ectoparasitoid Bracon hebetor

Kaur, Mandeep, Kaur, Sanehdeep
BioControl 2013 v.58 no.6 pp. 755-763
parasitism, diet, rearing, Spodoptera litura, parasitic wasps, tritrophic interactions, herbivores, Habrobracon hebetor, secondary metabolites, hatching, coumarin, larvae, natural enemies, eggs, ingestion
The secondary metabolites that play a defensive role in plants not only affect the growth and development of herbivores, but they can also influence their natural enemies. In the present study, the effect of coumarin was evaluated on a braconid parasitoid, Bracon hebetor (Say) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) using polyphagous pest, Spodoptera litura (Fabricius) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Reproductive potential of the parasitoid declined significantly due to parasitization of host larvae feeding on coumarin supplemented diet. Total development period of B. hebetor extended significantly (2.17–2.38 days) when the host larvae were reared on diet amended with higher concentrations (625–3,125 parts per million) of coumarin as compared to unamended diet. Ingestion of coumarin supplemented diet by S. litura adversely affected the emergence and parasitization potential of B. hebetor. As compared to the control a significant decline in hatching of eggs was recorded when parasitoid wasps developed on host larvae fed on diet containing higher concentrations of coumarin (625–3,125 ppm). Negative effects of coumarin were also recorded from the next generation of the parasitoid.