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Innate Olfactory Responses of Asobara japonica Toward Fruits Infested by the Invasive Spotted Wing Drosophila

Antonio Biondi, Xingeng Wang, Jeffrey C. Miller, Betsey Miller, Peter W. Shearer, Lucia Zappalà, Gaetano Siscaro, Vaughn W. Walton, Kim A. Hoelmer, Kent M. Daane
Journal of insect behavior 2017 v.30 no.5 pp. 495-506
Asobara, Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila suzukii, adults, arthropod pests, artificial diets, biological control, endoparasitoids, females, fruits, hosts, insect behavior, insects, juveniles, learning, mass rearing, microhabitats, smell, volatile compounds
Insect parasitoids are often manipulated to improve biological control programs for various arthropod pests. Volatile compounds can be a relevant cue used by most parasitoid hymenoptera for host or host microhabitat location. Here, we studied olfactory responses of the braconid Asobara japonica Belokobylskij, an Asiatic endoparasitoid of the invasive pest Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura), toward its host and host substrates. Adult A. japonica displayed an innate attraction to undescribed volatile cues from infested host fruits irrespectively of the juvenile rearing experience, i.e. they respond to a novel cue subsequently used for microhabitat selection. These data suggest that A. japonica parasitoids mass-reared on artificial diet and factitious host (D. melanogaster) can successfully locate their hosts. Naïve female parasitoids did not show a preference towards any of the tested host media. However, the enforced adult experience with the rearing host medium modified the olfactory preference patterns toward non-natal host fruits. These findings provide evidence of associative learning during the adult stage of A. japonica, and demonstrate its plasticity in exploiting the volatiles from various fruits infested by D. suzukii.