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Oviposition behaviour of Tamarixia radiata: effects of host density and exposure time
- CHEN, XULIN, WONG, SAMUEL W. K., STANSLY, PHILIP A.
- Ecological entomology 2018 v.43 no.1 pp. 55-59
- Citrus, Diaphorina citri, Tamarixia radiata, antennating, biological control, cameras, equations, exposure duration, fecundity, females, functional response models, groves, hosts, instars, mass rearing, oviposition, parasitism, parasitoids, pheromones, residential areas
- 1. The number of hosts attacked as a function of host density is considered to be an important characteristic of parasitoid behaviour and is used to estimate key parameters such as handling time and ‘instantaneous rate of discovery’. However, little has been done to validate functional response models by direct observation of parasitoid oviposition behaviour. 2. Tamarixia radiata is the most promising parasitoid for biological control attacking Diaphorina citri. Mass rearing and augmentative release seen as a potential strategy for suppression of D. citri has been documented in abandoned citrus, residential areas, and organic groves. Nevertheless, parasitism rates in culture and in the field are only moderate, leading to questions about oviposition behaviour in response to host density. 3. Behaviours of gravid T. radiata females presented with susceptible host instars were categorised and documented by direct observation for 30 min and by camera recordings made over 12 h. Frequency of searching and antennating increased with host density during the 30 min. Probing rejection rates and search duration increased significantly with host density over 12 h. These factors resulted in significantly lower fecundity than expected, possibly due to host mark‐mediated deterrence within the small searching area. Females took approximately 3.6–4.2 min to probe and parasitise a host regardless of host density and exposure duration. These results were markedly different from the 52.2 min estimated from the functional response equation. 4. Further experiments are required to assess the range and persistence of the putative host‐marking pheromone, and to better understand the relationship between functional response parameters and actual behaviour.