Two laboratory experiments were conducted to examine the ovipositional preferences of the egg parasitoid Ooencyrtus nezarae Ishii (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) for parasitized and unparasitized Megacopta punctatissimum Montandon (Hemiptera: Plataspidae). Females that had never oviposited or that had not oviposite for 3 days preferred recently parasitized hosts more than unparasitized hosts. The preference for recently parasitized hosts appeared to be mediated by the punctures in already parasitized hosts made by the ovipositor of the first female. Survival of the parasitoid progeny was lower in recently parasitized hosts than in unparasitized hosts. However, handling time of parasitized hosts was extremely short relative to that of unparasitized hosts, because the superparasitizing female could use the punctures made by the previous females. It is concluded that the females preferred the parasitized hosts over unparasitized hosts because the benefit of saving time and energy for drilling was more than the cost of progeny survival.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics