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Evidence for acoustic communication in the parasitoid wasp Glyptapanteles flavicoxis

Danci, Adela, Takács, Stephen, Schaefer, Paul W., Gries, Gerhard
Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 2010 v.136 no.2 pp. 142-150
Glyptapanteles, bioacoustics, bioassays, females, insect flight, males, parasitic wasps, sex pheromones, wing fanning
Females of the parasitoid wasp Glyptapanteles flavicoxis (Marsh) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) deposit sex pheromone on substrate that elicits attraction and wing fanning in conspecific males. We tested the hypothesis that wing fanning sound induces a behavioral response from females which, in turn, affects the males' orientation toward them. Females exposed to playback of the males' wing fanning sound engaged in short flights, with sound characteristics different from those of the males' wing fanning sound. In two-choice bioassays, playback of the females' flight sound attracted significantly more males than a silent control stimulus, and in combination with pheromone-containing body extract of females it attracted more males than female body extract alone. Our data support the conclusion that the males' wing fanning induces sound and visual reply signals from females that help males orient toward them.